Digital economy deepens as Govt UFB rollout passes 1.2 million mark

“Access to better broadband means more New Zealand businesses and students can make the most of the digital economy."

More than 1.2 million New Zealanders can now connect to faster and more reliable internet, as revealed under the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) rollouts.

According to Communications Minister Amy Adams, more than 921,000 households, businesses, schools and hospitals are able to connect to the UFB network, and more than 285,000 rural premises are able to access a RBI service.

“Access to better broadband means more New Zealand businesses and students can make the most of the digital economy,” Adams says.

As at 31 March 2016, Adams says nationwide uptake of UFB had nearly reached 200,000, or 21.3 percent, with the build in sixteen regional towns now complete.

“The RBI continues to extend coverage to rural areas across New Zealand and uptake of these services by both residential and business customers has reached 37.3 per cent,” Adams adds.

“Together, both initiatives mean over 1.2 million New Zealanders can connect to faster internet. The rollouts are on target and lifting internet speeds across New Zealand.”

Adams says a total of 142 newly built Rural Broadband towers are in operation, making the new tower build 92 percent complete.

In the last three months, over two million individual mobile devices accessed services from the new RBI towers.

"Tower upgrades are now 87 per cent complete, with 338 RBI towers upgraded," Adams adds. "New and upgraded towers have meant around 269,000 homes and businesses in rural areas are able to connect to 3G or 4G fixed wireless.

"Nearly 1200 cabinets in rural areas have been upgraded under the RBI, meaning that over 108,000 rural households and businesses can now access faster copper broadband."

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