Communications Minister Amy Adams has made good on an election-year pledge to extend the Government's ultrafast broadband fibre network to more regions, and expand its rural connectivity offerings.
The Government is seeking feedback on proposals to widen the UFB footprint to cover 80 per cent of the population, expand the rural broadband initiative and improve mobile coverage in areas that currently have none, according to Adams.
The announcement was made in Kerikeri with Prime Minister John Key, who is campaigning in the Northland byelection where NZ First leader Winston Peters is on equal footing in recent polls with National Party candidate Mark Osborne.
Adams said four Northland towns were strong contenders to be included in the extended UFB, and Northland's major city, Whangarei, is separately working to become the landing spot for a proposed transpacific cable.
"Councils regularly lobby me for better communication services in their districts so we're inviting them to show us how they could support the rollout and uptake of better services in their districts if the Government was to provide them," Adams said.
The broader UFB programme is expected to cost $152 million to $210 million, on top of the programme's $1.5 billion initial estimate, while the rural broadband extension would need a further $100 million in funding plus $50 million to fill in the mobile black spots.