New Zealand's UFB network boasts 55,000 users, ups build target to 80%

New Zealand's ultra-fast broadband (UFB) fiber network service is now being used by over 10 percent of the country's households where the services are available.

As of the end of September, 55,000 of the 536,000 households within the fiber footprint were using the fiber-based network, up from 15,500 at the end of June.

Speaking at the Huawei New Zealand ICT Roadshow in Auckland, Communications Minister Amy Adams said that Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH) plans to continue to extend the service to an even greater part of the country with money from the Future Investment Fund.

"The next step is extending UFB from a target of 75 percent to 80 percent of New Zealanders, funded from the Future Investment Fund as announced during the election campaign," Adams said in a press release.

Among the towns that are now taking advantage of the new services is Te Awamutu, which became the second town in New Zealand to have its UFB build complete in October. Over 5,300 end users in the Waikato town are now able to connect to UFB. In addition, more than 2,200 schools across New Zealand now have fiber installed and are ready for service.

The goal of the UFB network plan has also shifted slightly under the newly re-elected National Party. Originally, the plan called for the UFB networks to pass 75 percent of New Zealand's premises by 2020, but the party said it will increase the coverage target to 80 percent by the same year, promising up to $169 million of additional funding to expand the project.

Complementing the fiber-based service, CFH said that 75,000 lines have been upgraded under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) to deliver higher speed DSL-based services.

For more:
- see this release

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