Communications Minister Amy Adams has announced that the $31 million Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) build in New Plymouth has been completed.
New Plymouth is the fourteenth urban area where UFB has been deployed, providing access to around 25,000 homes and businesses.
Representing the second major area in Taranaki to receive UFB after Hawera was completed in February 2015, since Christmas around 14.4 percent of residents have so far connected.
In addition, twenty-six schools in New Plymouth are now able to connect to UFB with Adams claiming that nearly all of have either taken up a service with the Network for Learning, or are in the process of doing so.
“New Plymouth was one of the first places I visited to launch the build of UFB in April 2012, so it’s gratifying to be back less than four years later with the infrastructure fully in place and roaring into action,” Adams adds.
In addition to the $1.35 billion funding for the UFB initiative, Adams says a further $210 million has been set aside to extend UFB to another 200,000 New Zealanders.
“While celebrating New Plymouth’s build completion, I’m aware that the task of improving connectivity throughout Taranaki isn’t yet complete,” Adams adds.
“Smaller rural centres and the region as a whole would like to see better broadband, and the Government is eager to deliver that where it’s feasible.”
Adams says the process for deciding the next UFB towns is underway, and progress is also being made to extend the Rural Broadband Initiative and set up a $50 million Mobile Blackspot Fund.
So far, the 14 completed UFB towns across New Zealand are Whangarei, Te Awamutu, Oamaru, Cambridge, Tokoroa, Hawera, Ashburton, Blenheim, Whanganui, Taupō, Timaru, Greymouth, Masterton, New Plymouth.
Having begun work in New Plymouth just under four years ago, Ultrafast Fibre has deployed approximately 350km of fibre-optic network across the city.
“We are very proud to have completed building the fibre network here in New Plymouth,” says William Hamilton, CEO, Ultrafast Fibre.
“With around 26,000 end users now able to connect and demand for UFB services growing, we look forward to seeing the truly innovative things that New Plymouth does with access to the new technology.”
Hamilton says Ultrafast Fibre can now add New Plymouth to its list of completed network builds, which includes Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Tokoroa, Whanganui and Hawera.