Chorus connected the last segment of fibre in the first stage of its UFB roll-out earlier this week. The company says it completed the network on time and on budget.

Communications minister Kris Faafoi joined CIP CEO Graham Mitchell and Chorus CEO JB Rousselot at an event to mark the completion.

Chorus laid around 28,000km of fibre cable or 2.2 million km of individual strands in the UFB1 network. It reaches 28 cities and towns. At the event, Faafoi said 79 percent of the population now have access to fibre. This will rise to 87 percent in 2022 when the second UFB phase completes.

Completion means that New Zealand is now one of the top eight countries for fibre connections in the OECD.

Uptake across the network is a little over 55 percent. In ten locations the figure is above 60 percent.

Chorus fibre customers now download an average of 360GB of data each month. This compares with around 12GB when the project started. During that time the average connection speed has climbed from 10Mbps to 125Mbps.