Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce has released the details of the government's $1.5 billion ultra-fast broadband investment initiative.

Key highlights of the proposal include:

• Government investment directed to an open access, wholesale-only, passive fibre network infrastructure.

• A new Crown-owned investment company ("Crown Fibre Holdings"), which will be operational by October, to carry out the government's partner selection process and manage the government's investment in fibre networks.

• Expansion to 33 candidate coverage areas based on the largest urban areas (by population in 2021).

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