The New Zealand government has begun commercial negotiations with Telecom New Zealand and Vodafone for its $NZ300 million Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).
Under the project, the government plans to start a rollout during 2011 that aims to eventually connect 97 per cent of rural schools in the country to fibre, and achieve speeds of better than 5 Mbps for 97 per cent of rural individuals and businesses.
The two carriers will split the project, with TNZ responsible for delivering the fibre component and Vodafone for providing community connectivity. Last December, Vodafone announced that it expected to roll out more than 150 new mobile towers supporting the project.
The Telecom / Vodafone network will be designed to minimise infrastructure duplication, while offering open access to retail competitors. ®