The Rural Broadband Initiative and getting connected
Government is making sure that rural New Zealanders can enjoy the benefits of faster, better internet through the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).
Because UFB isn’t feasible for every rural community, broadband internet with peak speeds of at least 5Mbps (megabits per second) is being provided to more than 90% of homes and businesses outside UFB areas.
Giving rural areas improved internet connections is expected to provide significant economic benefits, while also giving rural New Zealanders access to important health and educational services that are available online.
Government has partnered with Chorus and Vodafone to deliver the first phase of the RBI. Together, they are building 154 new wireless towers and upgrading 387 existing ones, upgrading or installing over 1,000 rural telecommunications cabinets and extending Chorus’ existing fibre network by about 3,350 kilometres.
Chorus and Network Tasman are deploying fibre to provincial schools, rural hospitals, health centres, and public libraries. Network Tasman is also delivering the RBI in Wakefield, Mapua, Motueka, and Picton.
Fifty-seven extremely remote schools and their surrounding communities will be connected by Inspire.net, Gisborne.net, Chorus, and Araneo.
You can find out more about these parts of the RBI programme on these websites:
To find out about the improved internet options available in your area, you should talk to one of these providers.
How much will rural broadband cost?
Prices for accessing rural broadband are set by internet service providers. Under the RBI, rural consumers are getting access to equivalent services (at comparable prices) to those available to urban consumers.
The specific details of the packages available, and the prices, are available on each retail service provider’s website.