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Applications are now open for the government’s $340 million fund to accelerate broadband.
The Broadband Investment Fund (BIF) contains $325 million operating and $15 million capital funding available over a maximum of five years. It is a key part of the Government’s Digital Strategy 2.0 package of over $500 million.
“The Fund is part of the government’s continued commitment to New Zealand’s digital future. Getting the best value from fast broadband requires confident, skilled users and the content and applications to drive uptake and productivity,” says Minister for Communications and Information Technology David Cunliffe.
“Our long term vision for rolling out fast broadband to all New Zealanders will see us spend more than $500 million in the next five years. This includes targeting high speed open access urban fibre networks, improved rural connectivity and improved international links.”
The BIF will be used to accelerate broadband investment in three critical areas:
* facilitating high speed broadband to businesses and entities such as municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals in urban centres;
* extending the reach of broadband into underserved regions, particularly in the rural sector; and
* improving the resilience of New Zealand’s international connections.
“Over forty submissions were received from interested parties on the draft criteria and process for BIF applications. The submissions provided valuable input into the contestable process for distributing funds.
“Our broadband package promotes the best fit between the best available technology and the needs of users in the region concerned. The Broadband Fund will maximise competition, assist investor certainty and give the best possible leverage for the taxpayer's dollar,” said Mr Cunliffe.
Applications for the Broadband Investment Fund close on 30 September.
More details and application packages can be found at: www.digitalstrategy.govt.nz