New Zealand’s governing National Party (NP) has promised to commit a further NZD150 million (USD125 million) in funding to extend the country’s rural broadband rollout scheme if it is re-elected in the general election next month. According to a report from ZDNet, NZD100 million of that would be available through a contestable fund for communities to improve their connectivity using fixed broadband. The current NZD300 million Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is focused largely on wireless technologies, while a separate Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) project is deploying high speed fibre networks, but only in selected areas. The investment will be financed through a three-year extension of the current NZD50 million Telecommunications Development Levy paid by telecoms providers.
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