Friday, 20 November 2015 09:32

More uptake of rural broadband

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So far there is a 35.6% uptake across the RBI network. So far there is a 35.6% uptake across the RBI network.

All rural hospitals are now able to connect to rural broadband and the Government aims to reach all schools and 90% of businesses by the end of the year, says Communications Minister Amy Adams.

The latest quarterly report for phase one of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) build as at September 30 shows 271,000 rural addresses can connect to the network.

"With 35.6% uptake across the network, RBI is making sure that New Zealanders living in our rural and remote areas can enjoy the benefits of faster, better internet," Adams says.

More than 102,000 rural copper lines have been upgraded and 122 new towers are now ready for service with a further 324 towers upgraded.

The RBI programme has been subject to eight independent audits with another one underway, which shows the programme is meeting its targets and working as expected.

Adams says the Government is now looking ahead at enhancing and extending RBI to as many people as possible.

"We've allocated an extra $100 million to expand the Rural Broadband programme as well as $50 million to improve mobile coverage in black spot areas along main highways and in popular tourist destinations.

"We've got a bold 2025 target of 99% of New Zealanders able to access peak speeds of at least 50 Mbps – which is a 10-fold increase on RBI peak speeds. I'm proud to be putting rural connectivity at the heart of our regional economy development strategy."


At a glance:

      • 271,000 rural addresses can now connect to the network
      • 102,000 fixed lines upgraded under RBI to receive faster copper-based broadband – 98% complete
      • 35.6% uptake across the network
      • 122 new towers built – 79% complete
      • 342 towers upgraded – 84% complete
      • 255,000 addresses able to connect to fixed wireless RBI.

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