15 Feb 2016
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NZers 'chomping at the bit' for faster broadband

By Catherine Knowles

Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) connections are up 135% around the country, according to latest figures regarding the Government’s UFB programme.

Amy Adams, Communications Minister, says, “The UFB programme is transforming the way we live, work and learn. Each month, more people get connected, but the year-on-year growth is astounding. 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,” she says.

The latest quarterly report to December 2015 shows UFB connections grew by 135% over the past year to more than 162,000, meaning uptake increased from around one-in-nine to almost one-in-five.

The report shows fibre coverage increased by 54% last year, with more than 300,000 additional households and businesses now able to connect for the first time.

“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,” says Adams.

Fibre deployment is now 60% complete and coverage to businesses and schools increased to 96% and 100%, respectively.

Adams also recently announced that 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.

This will benefit their studies and online learning immeasurably, she says.

“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, 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,” she says.

“High-speed internet makes communicating quick and easy. It gives businesses a competitive advantage and improves access to health and education opportunities. It’s no wonder New Zealanders are jumping on board to get connected,” says Adams.

The Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiatives are expected to result in over 4,000 jobs between them.

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