According to the latest figures from New Zealand’s national statistics organisation, the number of actively used fibre optic connections in the country reached 397,000 in the year ended June 2017. Stats NZ says this is up 67% from the June 2016 year. Fibre optic connections now make up 21% of all broadband connections in New Zealand, compared with 12% in the June 2016 year.
In terms of new connections, there were 159,000 new additions established in the year ended June 2017, compared with 133,000 the previous year.
“We’re seeing lots of households moving to fibre, as it allows them to have several people watching movies and playing video games at the same time, without slowing each other down,” remarked Stats NZ business performance senior manager Daria Kwon. “The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme aims to have 87% percent of New Zealanders able to access fibre by the end of 2022.
“Nearly 1.2 million households and businesses are already able to connect to the fibre network, and around one-third of them are using it so far,” added Ms Kwon.
The UFB programme is one of the largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in New Zealand. It will see around 87% of New Zealanders, in over 390 towns and cities, able to access FTTP by the end of 2022. UFB users can access speeds of close to 1,000 Mbits/s.
The New Zealand Government is investing around $1.8 billion to bring the benefits of UFB to as many New Zealand inhabitants as possible. In August 2017 the Government announced a new $130 million communications infrastructure package to extend the UFB build to around 190 new towns and fast-track an earlier UFB deployment schedule by two years.