Government launches new connectivity initiative for those living in rural and remote areas

Published: 17 November 2022

The Government has launched the Remote Users Scheme, a new initiative which aims to equip as many rural and remote New Zealanders as possible with the digital connectivity infrastructure needed to access broadband services where they live.

Eligible households and communities in New Zealand’s most remote areas – where broadband is not currently available and there is only access to voice calling and text services – will be able to apply for connectivity support through this new scheme.

Support will also be available in some remote areas where broadband is already in place, but internet speeds are very slow, and households are not in scope for other connectivity improvement programmes.

Through Budget 2022, $15 million was allocated towards funding this new initiative, as part of the broader $60 million rural connectivity package the Government announced earlier this year.

New connectivity funding for more rural homes and businesses(external link) —

Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) will administer the Remote Users Scheme and will soon be calling for applications from potentially eligible households and communities. A request for proposal from internet service providers will follow in the new year.

It is expected that new broadband connectivity infrastructure for the eligible areas and households can begin being built in mid-2023.

Further information about the Remote Users Scheme is available on CIP’s website. 

Remote Users Scheme(external link) — Crown Infrastructure Partners New Zealand

Read the Minister’s press release.(external link)

Govt delivers connectivity for rural and remote households(external link) —

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