A total of 724,253 New Zealanders are now able to connect to the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) build and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), according to figures released by Communications Minister Amy Adams.
The latest quarterly report for phase one of the UFB and RBI builds as at 30 June 2015 shows 724,000 homes, schools and workplaces can now connect to UFB with more than 269,000 rural addresses are now able to connect to RBI.
The latest numbers also show that the number of end users connected to UFB has increased by 24 percent to 106,025.
“The UFB build is over the halfway mark and as the network expands, the rate at which people are signing up for fibre is accelerating,” Adams says.
“At 14.6 per cent, the uptake rate has quadrupled from what it was two years ago.
“Improved connectivity also means schools, hospitals and businesses are able to work smarter and experience better results.”
Adams says that the UFB rollout to schools is 96 percent complete with 2,324 schools now able to connect with plans in place to ensure that all schools will be able to connect by the end of the year.
Furthermore, over 93,000 fixed lines have been upgraded under the RBI to receive faster copper-based broadband.
Under RBI, the new tower build is 75 percent complete, with 116 new towers now ready for service and as Adams point out in the release, power upgrades are now 81 percent complete, with 314 towers upgraded.
As a result, these new and upgraded towers mean more than 242,000 rural addresses are now able to connect to fixed wireless RBI.
“Across the two component parts (improved copper and fixed wireless), total uptake under RBI is now at 33 percent,” Adams adds.
In addition, Adams claims that the RBI has also seen more than 1.4 million individual customers access mobile services from the 116 new towers in the previous quarter.