The National Party says it would invest up to $1.5 billion to get fast broadband into nearly every home in the country if it wins the election.
The money would be used to drive the roll-out of a "fibre to the home" ultra-fast broadband network in New Zealand.
Party leader John Key told a Wellington Chamber of Commerce lunch this afternoon that a National Government would aim in the medium to long term to get broadband into nearly every home supported by satellite and mobile solutions.
"Our initial goal is to ensure the accelerated roll out of fibre right to the home of 75 per cent of New Zealanders. In the first six years, priority will be given to business premises, schools, health facilities, and the first tranche of homes," Mr Key said.
"We also want to significantly enhance broadband access and speeds for household and premises where fibre to the home is not immediately feasible."
National would also take steps to accelerate high speed broadband roll-out to rural and remote areas, with the first step being to double the Broadband Challenge Fund to $48m and refocus it on rural and remote areas.
"National will work with the telecommunications industry to achieve these goals."
Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) chief executive Ernie Newman says it welcomes the plan, especially as it puts broadband on election agenda early.
"We are very happy with the proposed investment," he told nzherald.co.nz this afternoon, "and it is a good sign that broadband is one of the first issues out of the starting blocks.
"It's also important that National has accepted that private sector investment to be supported by the public sector to some degree."
He believes that the National Party's plan could be more effective than combined public/private investment currently making headlines in Australia.
"Hopefully we can do it better than the Australians," said Newman, "it is undergoing a lot of serious debate over there.
"There are some very complicated issues involved."
- NZPA / NZ HERALD STAFF