Budget funds fast broadband for faster growth

Published: Thu 20 May 2010 02:54 PM
Budget funds fast broadband for faster growth
Budget 2010 provides a further $248 million for the Government’s flagship broadband initiatives, which will help New Zealand grow faster and be more competitive, Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce says.
The Government has committed up to $1.5 billion to its ultra-fast broadband initiative, which will see fibre rolled out to businesses, schools, hospitals and 75 per cent of New Zealanders over the next 10 years. It is expected that this investment will be at least matched by the private sector.
The Budget allocates a further $200 million of that capital funding in 2010/11 for investment in ultra-fast broadband infrastructure by Crown investment company Crown Fibre Holdings. This is in addition to the $200 million allocated last year.
This funding will enable Crown Fibre Holdings to start making substantial contract commitments with the private sector to start rolling out the new network on schedule, says Mr Joyce.
The ultra fast broadband initiative is accompanied by a $300 million rural broadband initiative for which expressions of interest are being sought.
Budget 2010 provides a further a $48.3 million so schools can harness the benefits of ultra-fast broadband. It will allow schools to upgrade their internal networks so they can enjoy a fast, reliable connection to ultra-fast broadband.
Budget funding will mean real progress with the broadband investment initiative and allow the build-out to start.
“This is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to a step change in broadband speeds across the country. Faster broadband is another way we are helping the country to grow faster.
“Today’s Budget announcement provides the platform to deliver infrastructure that will bring about the step-change in our economy we need to compete.”

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