UFB minister gongs Christchurch billboard co

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Faster internet is rolling out across the country, with the Ultra Fast Broadband scheme hitting its 100,000th connection milestone in Canterbury.

Christchurch-based billboard advertising business Go Media became the 100,000th customer to connect to the country’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) network.

Communications Minister Amy Adams was at the Victoria Street business to recognise what she described as “a considerable milestone for the project”.

The new fibre network build has been going for four years nationally and three years in Christchurch. It is being built by telecommunications companies in partnership with the Government.

Adams told Stuff that uptake of the scheme was ahead of expectations. As of 31 March this year, UFB uptake in New Zealand was 13.8% where the network was available.

“UFB connections have grown tenfold in the last two years, the highest growth rate in the OECD. In Canterbury, Enable’s network has more than one in three customers connected in some locations, which is a fantastic outcome,” Adams said.

Go Media chief executive Simon Apperley said connecting to the new network was “one of those things we’ve been meaning to do for a while”. “The fastest-growing outdoor company needs fast internet,” he said.

“In the business environment that we are in, we have to have fast-paced production, install and upload speeds. For our business it’s very important, makes our business more efficient and therefore keeps our clients and customers happy.

Last week Adams announced the government was halfway through the network build, and was expanding the programme to reach 80% of New Zealanders.

She said there were currently 12,000 connected in Christchurch. In Selwyn and Rolleston, household connections were up to 40%.

Enable, a joint venture between Christchurch City Council-owned Enable Networks and state-owned Crown Fibre Holdings, is the provider of UFB netowrk in Christchurch, while 2Degrees is the retailer.

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