10 Aug 2015
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More than 700,000 Kiwi homes and businesses have access to UFB

By Shannon Williams

More than 700,000 homes, schools and workplaces can now connect to UFB, according to figures released by the Minister for Communications Amy Adams last week, with the rollout to New Zealand schools nearing completion.

The Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband build and Rural Broadband Initiative are together Adams says.

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. 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% to 106,025, Adams says.

“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,” she explains. “At 14.6%, the uptake rate has quadrupled from what it was two years ago.”

Adams says, “Improved connectivity also means schools, hospitals and businesses are able to work smarter and experience better results.”

Adams says the UFB rollout to schools is 96% complete with 2324 schools now able to connect. She says all schools will be able to connect by the end of the year.

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% complete, with 116 new towers now ready for service. Tower upgrades are now 81% complete, with 314 towers upgraded.

Adams says 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%,” she says.

In addition to better broadband services, the RBI has also seen more than 1.4 million individual customers access mobile services from the 116 new towers in the previous quarter alone.

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