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Accelerated timetable for rural broadband and mobile coverage in New Zealand

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Staff Writer | May 28, 2018
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran has announced an accelerated timetable for the rollout of new rural broadband and mobile networks to help close the digital divides in New Zealand.
Clare Curran
Pacific   Curran: New Zealanders must have access to technology
The Rural Broadband Initiative Phase Two (RBI2) and the Mobile Black Spot Fund (MBSF) builds were due for completion by the end of 2022 however the new schedule aims to have them substantially finished by the end of 2021 – a year earlier than previously planned.

“New Zealanders must have access to technology as a right, regardless of income or geography and we have to close the gap between the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ to ensure people and communities benefit from the jobs, access and participation that a digital future brings,” said Clare Curran.

“We are listening to feedback from businesses and from people who live in and travel to our most rural and remote areas, and they want more clarity around when their connectivity will improve. I want people to know they don’t have to wait until the end of 2022.’

The deployment schedule and coverage information for RBI2 is now available on the National Broadband Map www.broadbandmap.nz.

“An address checker is available on the map where you can type in your address to see if and when you will receive RBI2 broadband coverage. This will show both planned and actual coverage, and give an indication of the timing for planned coverage,” Ms Curran said.

“The company providing service in your area is listed on the Availability Report when you search your address.

“Funding for the RBI2/MBSF programme comes mainly from the Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL), a levy paid by telcos, with some of the programme funded privately by the three mobile operators Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees.

“Funding for a $105 million RBI2/MBSF expansion comes from Crown Infrastructure Partners’ funds and announcements will be made in the coming months on the outcome of the RBI2/MBSF expansion process, which is currently underway.

“There will be additional resources for rural communities not covered by these programmes to apply for under the $1 billion Provincial Growth Fund announced by my colleague Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones.


 

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