Minister trumpets UFB progress

Communications minister Simon Bridges has announced release of the March 2017 Quarterly Broadband Update saying it shows the number of households, business, schools and hospitals connected to UFB has increased 12 percent in the past three months to almost 4000,000 and that deployment for phase one of the UFB programme is almost three-quarters complete, providing 1,103,000 households and businesses with access to download speeds of close to 1Gbps.

According to the report, rollout of UFB phase 1 is 74 percent complete and uptake is running at 33.3 percent.

At the same time Bridges announced that phase two of the UFB programme was underway with the network rollout having started in Hikurangi and Hokitika.

However Bridges’ announcement of the start of the phase 2 rollout comes two weeks after Northpower, the company rolling out the network in Hikurangi and Hokitika, announced commencement of rollout in those two locations. It said rollout should be complete by September.

In January, the Government announced an investment of $300m to extend UFB to another 423,000 New Zealanders across a further 151 towns.