Rural broadband roll-out will help tourists' selfies

Politicians and tourists - two groups who love a selfie. And the Government is making sure they can upload them from anywhere.

Tourists will be able to upload selfies from more remote locations as part of a $270 million extension to rural broadband announced on Wednesday.

Communications Minister Simon Bridges is promising the ultra-fast network will now be finished in five years.

"The market research we've seen particularly in relation to Asian tourists but all tourists is very clear, when they get into these places whether its Milford Sound, Cape Reinga or Abel Tasman they want to upload their selfies," Mr Bridges says.

The bulk of the $270 million cost comes from recycled cash - from repaid loans to broadband contractors on earlier projects - with just $30 million of new money.

"This is a project that's a vital piece of infrastructure for New Zealand, for our competitiveness, for our productivity," Prime Minister Bill English says.

One hundred tourist areas will be covered, from Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach to parts of Routeburn and Milford tracks, as well as 1000 kilometres of rural highway.

Taupiri is one of 23 towns that will get ultra-fast broadband over the next three years, with Coromandel getting it by 2022.

That's just in Waikato. Overall 190 towns will get it, as well as 60,000 homes and businesses.

"By 2022 we'll be in the top five connected countries in the world," Mr English says.

So welcome news for rural broadband users - and selfie-loving tourists.