Broadband and mobile programmes

The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme and the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) are delivering vastly improved broadband services to urban and rural New Zealand. The Mobile Black Spot Fund (MBSF) will deliver improved mobile coverage on stretches of state highways and in tourism locations.

August 2017 package

In August 2017 a $270 million communications infrastructure package was announced to further extend these programmes and speed up the UFB deployment schedule.

$130 million is allocated to extend the UFB build to around 190 new towns and fast-track the UFB deployment schedule by two years, aiming for nationwide completion by the end of 2022.

Up to $140 million is allocated to the second phase of RBI and MBSF. Improved rural broadband will be extended to more than 70,000 New Zealand households and businesses, and around 1,000 kilometres of state highways and more than 100 tourist areas will receive new mobile coverage. This is on top of the $150 million that had already been allocated for the second phase of RBI and MBSF.

Further information – communications infrastructure package:

Maps of all NEW UFB/RBI2/MBSF programme coverage by region:

Further information – UFB:

Further information – RBI2 and MBSF:


Ultra-Fast Broadband

The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme is one of the largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in New Zealand. It will see around 87 per cent of New Zealanders, in over 390 towns and cities, able to access fibre-to-the-premises by the end of 2022.

As of August 2017, New Zealand had seen almost $1.8 billion of investment in UFB infrastructure to ensure that as many New Zealanders as possible can experience the social and economic benefits of faster broadband.

Crown Infrastructure Partners (previously Crown Fibre Holdings) was established as a Crown company initially to manage the government’s investment in UFB. Further information is available on its website.

What is UFB?

UFB uses a specified technology (fibre optic cables) to deliver fibre-to-the-premises. It is most suitable in urban areas with higher population densities.

It is superior to the copper technology that was rolled out in New Zealand over the last century.

UFB users can access speeds of close to 1,000 Megabits per second, allowing them to use business applications to improve productivity, access educational and entertainment content and a whole range of other benefits.

When can I get UFB?

The UFB build is occurring in phases, with the nationwide rollout being completed by the end of 2022.

Check out the National Broadband Map to see if you are among approximately 60 per cent of New Zealanders, who can already access UFB, and if UFB will be rolled out in your area soon. The National Broadband Map also provides details of who to contact, if you are interested in upgrading your internet services.

Planned UFB deployment

[image] North Island map.

[image] South Island map.

Download UFB – North Island Map [PDF 401KB]

Download UFB – South Island Map [PDF 3.8MB]

The Quarterly Broadband Update shows how the build is progressing nationally and in each region.

View UFB coverage by region [PDF 110KB]

Find out when UFB deployment is scheduled to be completed in each place [PDF 110KB]

Rural Broadband Initiative

Because is it not cost-effective to provide UFB in every rural community, the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is providing faster internet to hundreds of thousands of rural homes and businesses outside UFB areas.

New Zealand’s telecommunications networks are generally owned and operated by private network operators. In rural and remote areas where the networks have not previously invested in coverage, grant funding from an industry levy has been used – the Telecommunications Development Levy. This recognised that intervention was required to ensure rural and remote areas of New Zealand have access to fast broadband and mobile services. Over $430 million in grant funding from the Telecommunications Development Levy has been allocated to RBI, to ensure that more New Zealanders can experience the benefits of improved connectivity.

When can I get rural broadband under RBI?

The RBI build is occurring in phases.

The first phase of RBI, which was completed in June 2016, has already provided new or improved broadband to over 300,000 rural households and businesses.

Chorus upgraded over 1,200 cabinets, which has allowed over 110,000 households and businesses to access improved fixed line broadband.

Vodafone partnered with the Crown to build over 150 new rural towers (and upgrade almost 400 existing towers) to provide fixed wireless broadband. You can purchase this service either from Vodafone or from several partners that wholesale the service from Vodafone – check your address to see if you can connect, and find a list of wholesale fixed wireless partners.

Over 1,000 schools, and 39 hospitals and health centres can access fibre broadband.

Read how the first phase of RBI improved connectivity in your region: Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 1 [PDF 4.3MB]

Planned RBI (phase two) deployment

The second phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI2) is extending high-speed broadband to more than 70,000 households and businesses in rural and remote areas.

The programme seeks to provide fast broadband to the greatest number of under-served rural homes and businesses within the funding available, and contribute towards achieving similar rates of access to fast broadband by rural end users across all regions of New Zealand. Alongside this programme, other rural broadband options are available from private network operators.

Crown Infrastructure Partners is managing the contractual arrangements for RBI2.

[image] RBI2/Mobile black spots North Island map

Download RBI2 and MBSF Map [PDF 3.4MB]

Crown Fibre Holdings is managing the contractual arrangements for RBI2.

View RBI2 (and MBSF) coverage by region [PDF 113KB]

What technology does RBI use?

The first phase of RBI has been delivered through a combination of fixed line upgrades and new fixed wireless coverage – which has also allowed new mobile coverage to be delivered in rural areas. For the second phase of RBI, a precise technology type was not specified. Regional operators were encouraged to participate in the tender process with innovative solutions.

The solutions that will be deployed include wireless point-to-point radio links, and 4G-based cellular radio technology which provides both fixed wireless broadband and mobile coverage.

Mobile Black Spot Fund

The Mobile Black Spot Fund (MBSF) is providing greater mobile coverage on approximately 1,000 kilometres of state highway and in over 100 tourism locations where no coverage currently exists.

The programme will have a direct impact on public safety, by providing greater mobile coverage on stretches of state highway. It will also enhance visitor experiences by providing new coverage in tourism locations.

Crown Infrastructure Partners is managing the contractual arrangements for the MBSF. Read further information, including a list of the target coverage areas, on Crown Infrastructure Partners’ website.

[image] RBI2/Mobile black spots North Island map

Download RBI2 and MBSF Map [PDF 3.4MB]

Crown Fibre Holdings is managing the contractual arrangements for the MBSF. Read further information, including a list of the target coverage areas, on Crown Fibre Holdings website.

View the list of state highways in line to receive coverage under the MBSF [PDF 113KB]

View the list of tourism locations in line to receive coverage under the MBSF [PDF 226KB]

What mobile coverage is currently available?

Mobile coverage currently covers areas where over 95 per cent of New Zealanders live and work. However, our geographic coverage is currently sitting at around 50 per cent.

Deployment under MBSF is expected to increase geographic mobile coverage by 20-30 per cent, up from 50 per cent.

Mobile and broadband coverage in New Zealand is provided by private network operators. New Zealand’s three mobile network operators each publish an online coverage map, showing where you can expect to receive mobile coverage on their networks:

All three established mobile operators – 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone – will be able to access the MBSF sites, which means that all mobile customers will be able to share in the benefits of this improved coverage regardless of their chosen provider.