Almost all New Plymouth residents will have access to high-speed broadband within a decade as part of the Government’s vision to boost rural connectivity.
New Plymouths rural communities will be the big winners under the new targets, which mark a ten-fold increase on peak Rural Broadband Initiative speeds of 5 Mbps.
By 2025 the Government aims to have 99 per cent of New Zealanders able to access broadband at speeds of at least 50 Mbps – up from 5 Mbps under RBI – and the remaining 1 per cent able to access at least 10 Mpbs (up from non-existent or dial-up speeds).
“These new targets will level out the playing field when it comes to rural broadband connections,” Jonathan Young says.
“Over time there’s been a difference in the connections available in town, and what’s available further out of town. That’s about to change significantly.
“Conducting farm business online, using cloud accounting software, and tracking stock movements using the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme are just a few things that will become far easier with faster, more reliable internet connections.
“We’ve made great strides in improving rural connectivity under the RBI and 4G networks, and it’s clear New Plymouth is keen for faster rural broadband,” Young says.
The 2025 rural broadband targets align with the Government’s two-pronged approach to boosting economic growth across regional New Zealand through the Business Growth Agenda and Regional Growth Programme.
The Government provided $360 million in Budget 2015 to extend UFB (Ultra-Fast Broadband) and RBI, and to establish a Mobile Black Spot Fund.