28 Oct 2010
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Govt to pick up schools' fibre bill

The government has said it will will cover the costs associated with providing the physical fibre from the street to school buildings.

Schools previously had to contribute to the cost, the government says in some cases has amounted to thousands of dollars.

“Government’s decision to cover these costs is an important step in ensuring equitable access to the benefits of ultra-fast broadband,” said Education Minister Anne Tolley.

“Schools that are already on ultra-fast broadband have tended to be larger urban schools that could afford to pay their share of the fibre drop cost.”

Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce, added, “Some schools, particularly smaller schools in rural areas, may have a disproportionately high drop cost compared to the number of pupils and their funding – we want to make sure they aren’t disadvantaged.

“The Government wants New Zealand schools to be among the most connected in the world and this represents yet another milestone in achieving this.”

The government says it’s committed to rolling out ultra-fast broadband to 97% of schools within six years. The remaining 3% will be covered by the Remote Schools Broadband Initiative.

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