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New Zealand’s Goal: 100% Fiber Usage by 2032

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(Last Updated On: April 25, 2023)

The second phase of New Zealand’s national plan aims to achieve 100% fiber-optic broadband penetration. By 2022, optical fiber will directly connect to 87% of the population.

The New Zealand government aims to achieve 100 percent fiber optic broadband penetration in the second phase of the national plan. From 2022, 87% of New Zealand’s population will have direct access to fiber optic connections.

In the latest Speedtest Global Index, New Zealand ranks in the top eight OECD countries for fiber connections as a proportion of total fixed links and 18th for fixed broadband speeds.

The report, published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, did not detail costs or funding sources. Still, it lays out the thinking behind one of the world’s most successful state-driven national broadband projects. Its most notable feature is the relatively low cost of the public-private partnership model.

The government has contributed just NZ$2.68 billion ($1.9 billion) since launching the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) program in 2010. Most of the funding comes from commercial operators, notably Chorus, an established company that accounts for 69% of UFB connections. Local and community fiber service providers account for the remaining share. New ZealThe report said that telcos spend about NZ$1.6 billion ($1.07 billion) a year on various types of telecommunications infrastructure; the contrast, neighboring Australia’s National Broadband Network, fully funded by a dedicated wholesale operator, has cost the government an estimated A$51 billion over the past 12 years and could face A$25 billion (combined) in 2040. $1.68 billion) deficit.

The main target for broadband in New Zealand over the next decade in rural areas. The report acknowledges that connectivity options are limited in much of the country due to remoteness and low population density. New Zealand’s 2032 target is to ensure “every rural and remote resident and worker can get the connectivity they need.”

To this end, the government has allocated NZ$90 million (US$60.5 million) from its COVID-19 Recovery Fund for rural network upgrades to facilitate connectivity in some 70,000 rural establishments. It is also allocating an additional NZ$15 million ($10.1 million) to expand coverage and support “innovative connectivity options” in remote areas.

Two other main goals related to climate change. Over the next decade, the New Zealand government aims to ensure that telecommunications infrastructure can support energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and “address the country’s unique resilience challenges”.

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