The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme is accelerating into 2016 with more New Zealanders taking up fibre broadband than ever before.
That’s according to the latest Government quarterly report to December 2015, which shows UFB connections grew by 135 percent over the past year to more than 162,000, meaning uptake increased from around one-in-nine to almost one-in-five.
Released by Communications Minister Amy Adams, the report shows fibre coverage increased by 54 percent last year, with more than 300,000 additional households and businesses now able to connect for the first time.
Adams claims the “strong progress” of the UFB initiative means more than 875,000 New Zealand households and businesses were able to connect to UFB at the end of 2015.
“Each month, more people get connected, but the year-on-year growth is astounding,” Adams adds.
“New Zealanders are chomping at the bit to get faster, more reliable broadband wherever they work, live and play.
“We’ve made tremendous progress in recent years, helping New Zealand’s internet speeds to triple since 2008. These are already on track to more than double again.”
In addition, fibre deployment is now 60 percent complete and coverage to businesses and schools increased to 96 percent and 100 percent, respectively.
“We’ve also recently announced all New Zealand state and state-integrated schools have access to faster broadband speeds as they return to school in 2016, under the UFB and Rural Broadband Initiative rollout,” Adams adds.
“This will benefit their studies and online learning immeasurably. New Zealanders fully grasp how important technology is to the future of this country and they are eager to keep up with the latest digital developments.”
Twelve months ago, Adams claims that around 5000 households and businesses were being connected each month - this has now doubled to more than 10,000 per month.
“As we accelerate into 2016, I look forward to more and more New Zealanders connecting to UFB,” Adams adds.
For Adams, the Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiatives are expected to result in over 4000 jobs between them.