At least another 200,000 New Zealanders will be able to connect to ultra-fast broadband under the second stage of the programme.
A public tender, worth $210 million, will expand the fibre network from an originally proposed 75 percent of the population, to a minimum of 80 percent by 2023.
A list of potential towns and communities which will be next in line for faster internet was also released yesterday with a request for proposals.
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule says its member councils are looking forward to working with central government to find the areas most suited for the upgrade.
"It is heartening that many councils are working collaboratively to determine the broad needs for their region and determine how this infrastructure could be best deployed from a regional perspective," he said.
But he called on the Government to find a way for every New Zealand community to be linked up to the broadband scheme.
"State of the art broadband is essential infrastructure to help retain and attract new residents, employees and businesses to our regions."
The government-owned company Crown Fibre Holdings issued the request for proposals for expanding the UFB scheme yesterday, with applications to close on October 28.
Towns that are not on the initial list may also be added by bidders.