At least 200,000 businesses across the country now have access to the Government Ultra Fast Broadband.
The roll out of the UFB initiative is two months ahead of schedule and within budget, according to Communications Minister Amy Adams.
“In 2009, the Government promised to make businesses a top priority for delivery of UFB,” Adams says.
“We’ve met that goal two months earlier than we hoped, which means more New Zealand entrepreneurs and operators can connect to speeds of at least 100 Mbps,” she says.
As part of the UFB programme, the Government concentrated deployment to priority users, including schools, hospitals and businesses, during the first six years of the initiative, Adams explains. The aim was 90% of businesses within UFB coverage areas being able to connect by December 2015.
Adams says new figures suggest the rate of deployment is looking even better.
“Around 95% of business premises within the UFB coverage areas can now connect to faster, more reliable broadband,” she explains.
"That’s over 200,000 individual firms, stores and traders who now have a massive opportunity to compete on the world stage,” says Adams.
Research released by the Innovation Partnership earlier last year found that benefits of up to $34 billion to the economy could be delivered in productivity and efficiency gains, if businesses made effective use of the internet.
“UFB provides enormous opportunities for businesses, in terms of innovation and global reach,” Adams says. “As one of New Zealand’s most ambitious infrastructure projects, the programme is lifting connectivity and productivity for businesses right across New Zealand.”
Adams says the Government is now focusing on extending the programme further with an additional $210 million to an extra 200,000 New Zealanders.