Northpower Fibre will invest over $900k to expand its ultra-fast broadband fibre network to more homes and businesses around Whangarei, Mangawhai and Dargaville thanks to a cash injection from the Government’s $50 million digital package.
Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has today announced a $734k package to help with the expansion. The funding is from the $50 million digital package announced by the Government last month and will allow a further 367 homes and businesses to connect to UFB.
Northpower Fibre Chief Executive Darren Mason is grateful for the support and says the design work has already started and construction will began in earnest after the Christmas break and the completion of our current UFB2 network expansion work.
“We are continuing to look at areas of our network where it is technically and economical feasible to extend it. We want to continue to provide fibre as far as we can to keep breaking down the digital divide in our community,” says Mr Mason.
Northpower Fibre has already invested over $60 million building its UFB network in Whangarei and Kaipara. 15,000 people in Whangarei and 4000 in Kaipara are currently connected and uptake continues to grow.
“Fibre broadband is an essential service and we are excited to connect more people on the fringes of Dargaville, Mangawhai and Whangarei. It is free for people to connect (up to 200m for residential premises and 30m for businesses), so I encourage people to take advantage of that because it is a world-class network.
“The Northpower Fibre network has been built by locals, for locals, so it is a positive Northland success story because ultimately the network is owned by Northpower’s electricity customers.”
Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith has also welcomed the announcement.
“The work Northpower Fibre has been doing in recent years to extend its fibre network right across Kaipara is great for the community because it keeps us connected. This is helping us grow a better Kaipara,” says Dr Smith.
Northpower completed the Whangarei UFB Network in 2014 and by the end of this year it will have expanded to Dargaville, Ruawai, Paparoa, Maungaturoto, Kaiwaka, Mangawhai, Mangawhai Heads, Waipu, Ruakaka, One Tree Point, Waikaraka and Hikurangi.