Local input sought to bring UFB to Bay of Plenty

Press releases
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Todd Muller is calling on local authorities to make their case to bring Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) to the Bay of Plenty.

The Government has launched the next step in its $2 billion fibre investment with a Registration of Interest document seeking input from local councils and technology providers on why their town should get UFB and RBI (Rural Broadband Initiative).

“Better access to faster broadband is something that’s raised with me often as the local MP. This is our chance to get directly involved and show why we need better connectivity in our community,” says Todd Muller.

“Over the coming weeks I want to hear from council and local providers about their ideas on how we could support the roll out and uptake of better services in our district,” says Todd Muller.

Todd Muller said he has met with locals from Welcome Bay and Pyes Pa who see real need for improved UFB / RBI where the benefits would be exponential.

“Digital connectivity is a key part of growing our local economy. Ensuring our local businesses, schools, homes and health care providers have access to fast and reliable broadband means more opportunities for our community,” says Todd Muller.

The Government is investing an additional $152 million to $210 million to lift the Ultra-Fast Broadband programme coverage from 75 percent to 80 percent of New Zealanders.

It is also investing $100 million to expand the Rural Broadband programme, and $50 million to improve mobile coverage in black spot areas along main highways and in popular tourist destinations.

 

Further Information:

Two documents launched: www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/technology-communication/fast-broadband/new-initiatives

Registrations of Interest – Support from local authorities wishing to support these programmes in their districts
Registration of Interest – Supply process with potential providers, telcos and other stakeholders

Q&As – UFB & RBI 2 extension

What are the coverage targets for the original programmes?

UFB is being deployed to 75 percent of the population by the end of 2019.

At the end of the RBI, 90 percent of households and business outside of UFB areas will have access to broadband capable of minimum peak speeds of 5 megabits per second.

 What are the coverage targets for the extensions?

The objective of the UFB extension is to extend the coverage of fibre-to-the-premises to at least 80 percent of the population. The objective will continue to be to provide a minimum of 100Mbps services. In line with the current UFB programme, faster UFB services are also expected to be made available.

The ROI – Supply process will enable the government to consult with industry to determine the greatest possible broadband coverage able to be achieved within the funding indicated for the RBI extension.

What feedback is the government looking for in the ROI – Supply document and from whom?

The ROI – Supply seeks comment on the technical and commercial design and specifications from interested stakeholders.

The ROI invites potential infrastructure suppliers to register their capability and interest in participating in a Request for Proposals tender process to deliver services towards one or more of the UFB2, RBI2, and Mobile Black Spot Fund initiatives.

What can local authorities do to attract new broadband and/or mobile investment to their districts under these programmes? Will the government expect local communities and authorities to contribute funds towards new infrastructure investment?

The ROI – Support seeks the support of local authorities to provide information and commitments on ways to facilitate deployment of infrastructure in their districts, which may include:

  • Facilitating consenting processes
  • Identifying locally-owned infrastructure that may facilitate deployment
  • Encouraging awareness and use of infrastructure in communities
  • Potential co-investment by local authorities.

Local authorities are also requested to provide their plans to increase digital engagement and achieve the social and economic objectives of digital infrastructure in their communities. These could be in the form of a Digital Enablement Plan, as outlined in the ROI – Support document, or other existing digital plan the local authority has in place.

 What is the process of selection for towns and communities?

The government will review all the responses received to both ROIs. The next step will be to seek more formal proposals from potential suppliers. On the basis of all the information received, the towns, areas and sites will then be finalised.

Individuals should approach their local council if they would like to share their views regarding priority areas.