Ultra-fast broadband in New Zealand: Progress Accelerating

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Rohan MacMahon
Murray Milner


Telecommunications, Broadband, Fibre To The Premises


The New Zealand Government’s Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) initiative is now more than halfway completed. Pleasingly, deployment of Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) has tracked ahead of schedule over the last two years. As at September 2015, deployment was 56% complete, with over 800,000 households and businesses able to connect, equating to around 44% of the NZ population able to connect to an optic fibre broadband service. Communal deployment has been completed in 11 of the 35 eligible towns and cities, meaning fibre has been laid on public lands, enabling every household to order a UFB connection. A further eight towns/ cities are expected to be completed by June 2016. Uptake of UFB services is accelerating as Retail Service Providers (RSPs) increasingly see UFB as the right choice for themselves and their customers. Presently around 10,000 households and businesses connect every month. With over 130,000 connections in place as at September 2015, uptake is around one in 6, indicating that there is still a long way to go for New Zealanders to connect to improved broadband. Importantly, deployment to “priority” premises (businesses, schools and health facilities) is close to completion, and many of these customers report that UFB usage has helped them improve business productivity or service delivery. The goal for the UFB initiative is recognised as being delivered well by the New Zealand Government, to the point that at the 2014 election it committed to provide additional funding to increase the FTTP rollout from 75% population coverage to 80%.


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