UFB roll-out set to begin in Hawke’s Bay – PM

Prime Minister and National Party Leader John Key today met with the Chorus management and technicians who are about to start the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) to Napier and Hastings.

Under National’s UFB initiative, Chorus will roll out fibre enabling speeds of up 100 mbps-plus to a population of almost 125,000 in Hawke’s Bay, as well as just under 2,500 business premises, around 70 schools and more than 700 medical and other healthcare services.

Mr Key says ultra-fast broadband will provide a real boost to the Hawke’s Bay economy.

“Ultra-fast broadband provides opportunities for businesses to work in new ways, schools to connect students to resources around the globe, and for specialist medical expertise to be available in more places through technologies like high-definition video conferencing.

“One of the most exciting aspects of UFB is that it has the power to transform our schools. National’s plans will make New Zealand’s education system one of the most wired in the world and 11 Hawke’s Bay schools will be among the first to receive a fibre connection.”

Those first 11 schools are: Henry Hill School, Marewa School, Napier Central School, Napier Girls’ High School, Napier Intermediate, Nelson Park School, Onekawa School, Port Ahuriri School, St Patrick’s School, Westshore School and William Colenso College.

Mr Key says the UFB and associated Rural Broadband Initiative will mean students at school will have access to the best teachers and learning resources from anywhere in the world in real time.
“Because we’re delivering fibre to the door, ultra-fast speeds will also be available at home, driving increased connectivity and access to new media and applications,” says Mr Key.

“The fibre-optic network will be open to retailers on equal terms, boosting market competition.

“Wholesale prices will be as low as half the price of current offerings for business services, and residential customers will enjoy a vastly-improved service for as much as they currently pay, or less,” says Mr Key.

The deployment of Chorus fibre in Hawke’s Bay will commence before the end of this calendar year and will be fully completed before December 2019. All health premises and schools will be covered by December 2015, with 90 per cent of businesses also complete.