The Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative has been rolled out to at least 200,000 businesses across New Zealand, with the Government claiming the operation to be “ahead of schedule and within budget.”
“In 2009, the Government promised to make businesses a top priority for delivery of UFB,” says Communications Minister Amy Adams.
“We’ve met that goal two months earlier than we hoped, which means more New Zealand entrepreneurs and operators can connect to speeds of at least 100 Mbps.”
As part of the UFB programme, Adams says the Government concentrated deployment to priority users (schools, hospitals and businesses) in the first six years of the initiative - the aim was 90 percent of businesses within UFB coverage areas being able to connect by December 2015, with new figures suggesting the forecast to be slightly ahead.
“Around 95 percent of business premises within the UFB coverage areas can now connect to faster, more reliable broadband,” Adams adds.
“That’s over 200,000 individual firms, stores and traders who now have a massive opportunity to compete on the world stage.”
Looking ahead, Adams says the Government’s focus is now on extending the programme, with an additional $210 million to an extra 200,000 New Zealanders.
Following the news that 200,000 businesses can now access UFB, the Innovation Partnership Programme believes the move signals “huge potential” for the Kiwi economy.
“Getting UFB and RBI to New Zealand businesses is essential for a successful digital economy, but it is only a first step,” adds Joe Stockman, Programme Director, Innovation Partnership.
“Now we need businesses to get connected, and to start thinking about how they can use that connectivity to run more productive, efficient, and ultimately more profitable businesses.”
Research by the Innovation Partnership into the value of the Internet for New Zealand businesses claims that putting internet-based technology to work made business six percent more productive than the average in their industry.
“Importantly, these businesses were a massive 74 percent more productive than businesses that weren’t making effective use of the Internet,” Stockman adds.