Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) is now available to 1.2 million New Zealand homes and the rollout continues in four more regions.

Communications Minister Simon Bridges today announced the first phase of the UFB rollout programme is close to 80 per cent complete. Bridges also announced the UFB build has begun in four more regional towns across New Zealand.

Ngaruawahia, in the Waikato region, Omokoroa and Te Puna, in Bay of Plenty, and Stratford, in Taranaki are next in line for UFB with all areas slated for mid-2018 complete, excepting Te Puna which is slated for completion in the first half of 2019.

"Our UFB programme is making fantastic progress. We're fast approaching our target of 1.5 million households and businesses being able to connect to UFB by 2019, and for 85 per cent of New Zealanders to be able to connect by 2024," Bridges said.


"The update for this quarter also shows New Zealanders' continued strong demand for UFB, consistent with previous updates. The number of households, business, schools and hospitals connected to UFB has increased 12 per cent in the past three months to 413,047.

"The UFB build is now fully completed in 22 cities and towns across New Zealand and as the rollout gathers pace, many more Kiwis will soon have access to this world-class fibre.

"UFB provides speeds of close to 1000 Megabits per second, allowing households and businesses to have near-instant access to information, entertainment and online tools that allow them to do more," Bridges says.

In January the Government announced an investment of $300m to extend the UFB rollout to a further 423,000 New Zealand homes.

"Having access to fast and reliable broadband is critical to growing our regional economies and to New Zealand's future," Mr Bridges says.

"Over one million New Zealand households and businesses already have access to fibre.

"Our plan to extend UFB is now underway in 12 towns and areas, with the build starting in Omokoroa, Te Puna, Ngaruawahia and Stratford this month."