Work to bring Ultra-Fast Broadband to Hikurangi has commenced with plans in place to also extend the fibre network wider across Northland. The work is being touted as a win for the region by local MP, Dr Shane Reti.
“I’m pleased to see the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) build officially underway in Hikurangi. Having access to fast and reliable broadband is critical for growing our regional economy, driving innovation, and supporting our local education and health services,” says Dr Reti.
The Government has invested around $600,000 to deliver UFB to Hikurangi. Under the extension, fibre deployment is also planned for Kerikeri, Dargaville, Paihia, Ruakaka and Taipa Bay-Mangonui, among other towns and areas in Northland.
The build in Hikurangi will be completed later this year, providing an additional 1,830 people across more than 550 premises with access to fibre. By the end of 2023, more than 94,000 people – or 54 per cent of Northland’s population – will be able to access UFB.
“We live in an increasingly connected world where internet access has become a core part of how we interact socially, exercise our purchasing power and do business - which is why the UFB project is so crucial. I’m glad to see Whangarei is taking advantage of better internet access with 39 percent (8,851 connections) now hooked up to fibre - above the national average of 33 percent,” says Dr Reti.
Along with the UFB programme, the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is also continuing to deliver faster broadband to priority users and rural communities outside of UFB areas.
The Government is investing approximately $2 billion in UFB and RBI programmes which will allow 85 per cent of New Zealanders to access UFB by the end of 2024, and provide vastly improved broadband in New Zealand’s rural communities.
“The uptake means more Northlanders will be better connected, and able to reap the benefits of a world-class broadband service,” says Dr Reti.
More information about the Government’s UFB and RBI programmes is available at www.broadband.govt.nz.