This New Zealand news was released this morning from office of Hon Steven Joyce (Minister for Communications and Information Technology):
The cities of Hamilton, Tauranga, Whangarei, New Plymouth and Wanganui will be among the first to benefit from the government's rollout of ultra-fast broadband, says the Minister for Communications and Information Technology Steven Joyce.
Crown Fibre Holdings has concluded negotiations with two partner companies, following shareholding ministers' approval of the deals over the weekend.
The partners are:
- Northpower Limited
- and Ultra Fast Fibre Limited, owned by WEL Networks,
The new companies will rollout fibre in Whangarei, Hamilton,Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Hawera and Tokoroa.
Northpower will commence its roll out in Whangarei before Christmas with Ultra Fast Fibre expected to begin laying fibre early in 2011. Both companies will have completed their rollouts by 2015.
These joint ventures represent nearly 16 per cent of UFB premises and a combined value of more than $200 million. The UFB Initiative will see 75 per cent coverage of ultra-fast broadband across New Zealand by 2019.
Mr Joyce says the availability of ultra-fast broadband is a key part of the government's economic growth agenda.
"This is very good progress in the roll out of UFB, which will see new fibre services available in Whangarei by the end of this year and in the areas covered by Ultra Fast Fibre Limited commencing early in 2011.
"The access prices CFH has negotiated will ensure the benefits of fibre are within reach of businesses as well as everyday New Zealanders."
Wholesale household prices will start at $40 or less per month for an entry level product and $60 per month for the 100 Megabit product. There are no connection charges for households.
Mr Joyce says the two new partners share the government's vision of the transformative ability of ultra-fast broadband.
"I am very pleased to have them on board and look forward to more partners being approved in the coming months."
CFH will shortly announce a list of parties with whom it will next elect to negotiate with in the remaining 25 UFB regions.
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