East Coast UFB to get $1m boost

$1 million extension of the Government’s UFB programme will connect 1000 people in three rural areas of East Coast to fibre.

$1 million extension of the Government’s UFB programme will connect 1000 people in three rural areas of East Coast to fibre.

CONNECTED: Te Rau Kupenga with Connect Global business founders Serena Fiso and Siuai Fiso (right) and Education Minister Hekia Parata at Connect Global’s Ruatoria call centre. Picture by Sarah Curtis

RURAL homes, farms, schools, doctors and businesses in three more areas here will soon be able to benefit from faster internet speeds, following a $1 million boost from the Government.

Communications Minister Simon Bridges yesterday announced a $1 million extension of the the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme, to connect 1000 people in three rural areas of the East Coast to fibre.

Mr Bridges said the move was part of the $300 million second phase of the Government’s UFB programme, which would bring fibre to 151 towns and 43 suburban fringe areas around the larger centres covered by the first phase of the programme.

Mr Bridges said the extension of the programme, which would include Ruatoria, Tolaga Bay and a fringe
area of Gisborne, reflected the Government’s broader focus on growing and diversifying New Zealand’s regional economies.

“Connectivity is critical to our regional economies and to New Zealand’s future. Fibre has already been deployed
in Gisborne under the first phase of UFB.

“Once the UFB extension is completed, over 1000 additional people in Ruatoria, Tolaga Bay and on the fringe of Gisborne will be able to experience the same world-class broadband as Kiwis living in larger centres, and tap into the benefits.

“This means more productive businesses, improvements to health care through video conferencing between doctors, specialists and patients, and improved access to online resources for students and teachers.

“Once the full UFB programme is complete, more than 36,000 people in the Gisborne region will be able to access UFB.”

The Government expects that more than 75 percent of people here will have access to fibre by the end of 2020. Education Minister Hekia Parata hosted an official launch of the programme yesterday in Ruatoria.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said the announcement was great news.

“UFB and new technology infrastructure is good for Tairawhiti. I also hope this will put the UFB underground for the Wainui area. We are also keen to advance cell phone black spots.”

Gisborne District councillors at yesterday’s Future Tairawhiti meeting applauded when the $1m funding was announced.

“It’s pretty good, more than we asked for,” said chief executive Judy Campbell.

RURAL homes, farms, schools, doctors and businesses in three more areas here will soon be able to benefit from faster internet speeds, following a $1 million boost from the Government.

Communications Minister Simon Bridges yesterday announced a $1 million extension of the the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme, to connect 1000 people in three rural areas of the East Coast to fibre.

Mr Bridges said the move was part of the $300 million second phase of the Government’s UFB programme, which would bring fibre to 151 towns and 43 suburban fringe areas around the larger centres covered by the first phase of the programme.

Mr Bridges said the extension of the programme, which would include Ruatoria, Tolaga Bay and a fringe
area of Gisborne, reflected the Government’s broader focus on growing and diversifying New Zealand’s regional economies.

“Connectivity is critical to our regional economies and to New Zealand’s future. Fibre has already been deployed
in Gisborne under the first phase of UFB.

“Once the UFB extension is completed, over 1000 additional people in Ruatoria, Tolaga Bay and on the fringe of Gisborne will be able to experience the same world-class broadband as Kiwis living in larger centres, and tap into the benefits.

“This means more productive businesses, improvements to health care through video conferencing between doctors, specialists and patients, and improved access to online resources for students and teachers.

“Once the full UFB programme is complete, more than 36,000 people in the Gisborne region will be able to access UFB.”

The Government expects that more than 75 percent of people here will have access to fibre by the end of 2020. Education Minister Hekia Parata hosted an official launch of the programme yesterday in Ruatoria.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said the announcement was great news.

“UFB and new technology infrastructure is good for Tairawhiti. I also hope this will put the UFB underground for the Wainui area. We are also keen to advance cell phone black spots.”

Gisborne District councillors at yesterday’s Future Tairawhiti meeting applauded when the $1m funding was announced.

“It’s pretty good, more than we asked for,” said chief executive Judy Campbell.

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