More communities in Rotorua will get faster internet connection as the Government expands its Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative.

New areas in Okere Falls, Mamaku, Rotoiti and Lake Okareka will receive ultra fast broadband with Kaingaroa Forest, Lake Tarawera, the Buried Village, and Waitangi being connected via the rural and mobile initiatives.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said he was delighted with the news.

"This is fantastic news for Rotorua. Improving our connectedness to the rest of the world with world-class broadband is hugely valuable for Rotorua's people and businesses," Todd McClay says.

Advertisement

The Government's total commitment to expanding rural broadband to another 74,000 people and businesses builds on the Government's investment in Ultra-Fast Broadband.

"Currently, 27,000 houses and businesses in Rotorua are able to access Ultra-Fast Broadband. Further expansion is especially important for our rural communities and our iconic tourist areas," Mr McClay said.

The Government is investing $270 million to roll out Ultra-Fast Broadband to 190 more small towns, and extend rural broadband to another 74,000 households and businesses, Communications Minister Simon Bridges added.

"We're also bringing the completion of the network forward by two years. By the end of 2022, our programme will provide more than four million New Zealanders with access to world-class internet."

Ultra-Fast Broadband uses fibre optic cables to deliver broadband to households and businesses. It is most suitable and cost effective in urban areas with higher dwelling and business densities.

"We started Ultra-Fast Broadband in 2010 with the original goal of connecting 34 towns to world-class fibre-to-the-premises. Earlier this year we expanded it to 200 more towns and today's announcement will bring us to 390," Mr Bridges says.

Because Ultra-Fast Broadband is not feasible for every rural community, the Rural Broadband Initiative provides faster internet to homes and businesses outside UFB areas through a combination of fixed lines upgrades and new fixed wireless coverage.

Today's funding announcement is in addition to the $150 million the Government has already allocated for rural broadband and mobile coverage.

"Once complete, New Zealand will be in the top five countries in the OECD for access to high speed broadband. Considering that in 2011 we were placed 26th with very little connectivity that will be a fantastic achievement.

"This investment is a vital part of the Government's plan to support regional growth and develop a productive and competitive economy," Mr Bridges said.