Otago/Southland to benefit from $43.4 million Ultra-Fast Broadband extension

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Small Business Minister Jacqui Dean said today’s announcement of an extension to the Ultrafast-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme in Otago and Southland has the potential to significantly boost economic growth across the two regions.

“Faster internet access is crucial for small businesses in the South to market, promote and sell their products, while improved connectivity is an important communications tool essential to modern business operations.

“$43.4 million will be spent bringing fibre access to an additional twenty areas in the Otago and Southland region, reaching a total of over 46,000 people. 

Included in the new UFB extension coverage list are Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell, Roxburgh, Oamaru, Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Te Anau, Winton, Bluff, Riverton and Otatara.

“I have long been an advocate of the power of connectivity for small business and in my new role as minister, I am delighted to see this next stage going through.

“Access to world class broadband is fundamental to growing regional economies like those in Otago and Southland, driving innovation and productivity and creating more jobs.

“The expansion is really huge for the region and reflects that UFB is a key part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda, and that we are working hard to provide world-class broadband services to more New Zealanders.  

“The Government will invest $300 million to extend the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) Initiative to 151 additional towns and 43 fringe areas around the larger centres with existing fibre access. 

“The first phase of UFB (UFB1) is already 70 per cent complete, and is ahead of schedule in delivering fibre to the premises of 75 per cent of New Zealanders by the end of 2019.”

Mrs Dean is in Te Anau today at the regional launch for Southland and said it was a significant development for business operators in the area.

“This is a real game changer for towns like Te Anau, allowing small local businesses to connect with customers around New Zealand and overseas to conduct and grow their businesses. It really is very exciting.”