Public asked to discuss broadband plans

Here’s your chance to have your say on broadband development.

The government is proposing to establish a Crown-owned investment company (“Crown Fibre Investment Co” or CFIC) to drive the government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce is inviting feedback on the government’s plan.

Once finalised, he says in a media release, the investment model will deliver on the government’s commitment of ultra fast broadband to 75% of New Zealanders where they live, work and study over the next ten years.

Under the proposal, CFIC will invest alongside private sector co-investors in regional fibre companies that will deploy and provide access to fibre optic network infrastructure in the 25 towns and cities covered by the initiative.

CFIC will operate an open, transparent and contestable process to select local partners with selection based on:

• The amount of additional fibre coverage being proposed

• The proposed capital structure

• Commercial viability of the proposal

• Consistency with government objectives

• Track-record of the partner

Mr Joyce says the open infrastructure model will ensure all telecommunications companies have the option of using the fibre.

The model aims to provide government investment on favourable terms, while minimising government involvement in commercial operations. The Government believes the private sector is better positioned to handle those.

The Government has committed up to $1.5 billion for the roll out and expects that to be at least matched by private sector investment.

Interested parties have until April 27 to make submissions.

The New Zealand Government Broadband Initiative: Draft Proposal For Comment is available on the Ministry of Economic Development website.

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