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Early Government buyout a credit to UFB rollout success

The Government has actioned an early buyout of Ultrafast Fibre due to a huge amount of unexpected confidence in the future of UFB.

Communications Minister Amy Adams announced the buyout and says Waikato Networks has been a great partner.

“With this work complete, the Crown no longer needs to hold its investment in the network and Waikato Networks Limited wants to take over full ownership early,” says Adams.

“It’s a testament to the success of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative that a build partner should seek to buy the Crown out three and half years earlier than planned,” she says.

Waikato Networks is taking full ownership of the local fibre company Ultrafast Fibre, previously jointly held with Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH).

“On settlement, the Crown will have received $189 million, or 95 per cent, of its original $198 million investment, three and a half years early. This deal delivers enormous value for money for taxpayers,” explains Adams.

She adds that New Zealand is a global leader in the rollout of fibre-to-the-premise on all counts.

“It’s outstanding for a Government partnership to have delivered this digital infrastructure at such a low cost to the taxpayer,” she says.

Adams also mentions the speed with which UFF completed its UFB deployment and strong uptake was a better outcome than what was originally expected.

“Uptake in Ultrafast Fibre’s coverage areas is very strong at over 28 per cent, compared to 25 per cent nationally. This includes Tauranga, which has the best uptake in the country at 33 per cent,” she explains.

UFB has been deployed in more than 190,000 homes, businesses and schools and around 11 per cent of the population in Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Tauranga, Hawera, Tokoroa, New Plymouth and Whanganui.