Govt delivers $1b for broadband commitment

  • Steven Joyce
Communications and Information Technology Budget 2011

Budget 2011 provides nearly $1 billion to advance the Government’s flagship ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband initiatives, which are key drivers of productivity and economic growth.

Capital funding of $942 million will be provided to Crown Fibre Holdings to invest alongside private sector partners in deploying fibre-to-the-premises networks that offer ultra-fast speeds, Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce says.

This funding, in addition to previous appropriations, means Crown Fibre Holdings now has access to the full $1.4 billion allocated to the UFB initiative.

The funding allows Crown Fibre Holdings to enter further contracts alongside those already made with Northpower and WEL Networks. Those contracts will progressively achieve the Government’s goal of 75 per cent of New Zealanders having access to ultra-fast broadband by 2019.

Budget 2011 also provides $28.2 million to allow state and state-integrated schools to connect to new government-funded fibre networks by funding the connection from the school boundary into the school.

This ensures that schools can access new networks and quickly deliver the benefits of ultra-fast broadband to students. Under the Government’s broadband initiatives, more than 97 per cent of schools will be connected to fibre.

“In the past month, the Government has finalised negotiations for the rural broadband initiative and will soon be securing deals for the majority of the ultra-fast broadband initiative,” Mr Joyce says.

“These are significant milestones that now see us moving into implementation of our vision for New Zealand’s digital future.

“I am looking forward to seeing New Zealanders enjoy the benefits of ultra-fast broadband in health, education, business and at home, which I am confident will help New Zealand be more productive, more competitive and therefore help us grow faster.”