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Final 2020 Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Update

Final 2020 Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Update


Please see attached the CIP Broadband Update for the Septemebr Quarter 2020 along with the associated media relelase.

South Island fibre link build commences, and Marae connectivity continues to grow
The Broadband Quarterly Connectivity Update to September 2020 is released today, and marks the start of the build of the two South Island fibre links.
Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has partnered with Chorus to deploy two new Provincial Growth Fund-funded fibre links in the West Coast and Southland.
The purpose of the fibre links is to enable more reliable and faster broadband access to locations along the paths of the links.
“This is really important work as it will provide improved network resilience for the whole of the West Coast and lower South Island,” said Mr. Graham Mitchell, Chief Executive of CIP. At the time of this release, there are already more than 60 kilometres of the West Coast fibre link deployed.
The West Coast fibre link will start in Hawea and traverse State Highway 6 westward to Haast, then north up the State Highway to Fox Glacier township for 240 kilometres. The Southland fibre link will start in Te Anau and traverse north and west along State Highway 94 and into Milford Sound for 120 kilometres.
We have seen a large increase in marae able to connect to broadband, with 100 new marae connected in the last quarter, bringing the total connected to 277. Under the Marae Digital Connectivity programme, there are now 200 marae with hardware installed as well as the technical support they need to utilise these connections. At the date of release, over 500 marae have applied to be connected under this programme.
“It is pleasing to see so many marae connected,’ said Mr. Mitchell. “The purpose of the programme is to support whanau and hapū to undertake economic activity and enhance their digital capabilities. It’s great to see marae revitalised as local digital hubs”.
Te Puni Kokiri is managing the application process, as well as engagement with marae communities and hapū, and the Provincial Development Unit has oversight.
In the September quarter we saw a continued increase in Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) connections. Households and businesses are continuing to move to the fastest UFB plans available, with the average speed of UFB services now 238 Mbps. Gigabit connections are continuing to grow, with 161,420 households and businesses now on a gigabit connection.
“Uptake of UFB across the country is now at 62%,” said Mr. Mitchell. “With 22 new UFB towns and cities completed in the quarter, the build is now 93% complete and still ahead of schedule”.
Morrinsville is now at number 1 for uptake this quarter with 88%, followed closely by Whatawhata with 85% and Horotiu at 81%.
1,045,843 homes and business are now connected to UFB with 216 cities and towns now complete.
The second phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative and Mobile Black Spots Fund (RBI2/MBSF) programme is progressing well as it continues to make connectivity available to those in rural Aotearoa.
From March to September 2020, 31 new mobile towers have been built, providing an additional 3,130 homes and businesses with access to an improved broadband service. This brings the total number of towers built across the country to 157.
There are now 55,034 rural homes and businesses with access to improved broadband across the country. CIP partners with 17 wireless ISPs (WISPs) and the Rural Connectivity Group to achieve this coverage.
Mr Mitchell said, “As well as coverage to households and businesses, there has been substantial work to improve the safety on our State Highways, with an additional 82 kilometres of new mobile coverage available.”

Additionally, there are now a total of 52 tourism spots covered, including Okiwi Bay in Marlborough, and Tongaporutu in Taranaki.

“Improved safety on some of New Zealand’s most difficult State Highways allows first response teams to get to accidents in these remote areas much quicker than they have previously been able to,” said Mr. Mitchell. “Having these State Highways become safer under the Mobile Black Spots programme is very pleasing to see.”
When work on RBI2 and MBSF is completed by 2023, and combined with completion of the UFB roll-out and existing broadband networks, New Zealand will have broadband coverage to 99.8 per cent of the population.
The Quarterly Connectivity Report is released by CIP and can be found at:
The report provides information on the progress of:
• Ultra-Fast Broadband roll-out;
• the Rural Broadband Initiative Phase Two and Mobile Black Spots Fund programme; and
• the Provincial Growth Fund Marae Digital Connectivity programme.
• At the end of the quarter, the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two (RBI2) has made improved broadband available to 55,034 rural households and businesses, which is 65 per cent of the overall target.
• Under the Mobile Black Spot Fund Programme (MBSF), mobile coverage is being deployed to:
o State Highway ‘blackspots’ where there is currently no mobile coverage, to support public safety in high traffic areas where there are high incident rates. 711 kilometres of mobile coverage have been deployed on State Highway ‘blackspots’; and
o tourism locations around New Zealand where there is currently no mobile coverage, to support tourism and economic growth. 52 tourism sites have new mobile coverage.
• WISPs are the 17 ‘wireless internet service providers’ who have partnered with Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to deliver the RBI2 programme, along with the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) who has contracted to deliver RBI2 and MBSF. RCG is a joint venture of the three mobile network operators, deploying mobile towers for RBI2/MBSF.
• The Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) programme is the broadband programme deploying fibre-to- premises to 87 per cent of the population by 2022 (including private fibre). At the end of the quarter, UFB is available to 84 per cent of the population; with UFB connectivity completed to 216 towns and cities.
o National uptake of UFB is 62 per cent, which is much higher than original forecasts.
• UFB partners are the four companies contracted to CIP to deploy the UFB network: Chorus, Ultrafast Fibre, Northpower and Enable.
• The ‘gigabit service’ is a UFB broadband Ethernet service that provides speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second download and 500 megabit per second upload on the wholesale UFB network. It is important to note that technical constraints mean the retail service will deliver close to a full gigabit to end customers, as some of the bandwidth is required for internet overheads and address headers for the end service.
• The Marae Digital Connectivity programme enables marae (and regional digital hubs) to receive a grant-funded broadband connection and associated hardware to enable use of the connection, creating marae ‘digital hubs’ that support communities to undertake economic activity and enhance their digital capability. The programme also includes urban Marae in Auckland, greater Wellington and Christchurch. The programme now includes all eligible marae nationwide.
• More information can be found at CIP’s website:

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