Communications Minister Simon Bridges says the first phase of the government's Ultra-Fast Broadband programme is three-quarters complete. The project is running ahead of schedule.
Chorus is two-thirds of the way through its build. The company with the largest share of UFB contracts is rolling out fibre in Auckland and Wellington among other cities.
Nick Woodward, Chorus customer service general manager, says the company is, on average, now adding one new fibre connection per minute.
With the build now finished in 22 cities and towns, more than 1.1 million homes and businesses can now access fibre.
Bridges says: “We’re fast-moving towards our goal of 85 percent of New Zealanders having access to fibre by the end of 2024. And for vastly-improved broadband to be available in New Zealand’s rural communities.”
He says the UFB programme is one of the New Zealand's biggest infrastructure projects.
To underline the impact of the fibre build Bridges notes Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report shows New Zealand's average broadband speeds jumped 40 percent in the last year.
Another measure comes from Chorus which says monthly data consumption has passed 200GB in many places. Woodward says the average Auckland fibre connection got through 277GB of data in April 2017, that's up from 245GB a year earlier.
So far, 35 percent of those able to connect to fibre have done so. This number is good when compared to fibre uptake elsewhere in the world. It is also ahead of Chorus's expectations. However, Woodward says uptake could be higher if people had better information about the technology.