Story image

Adams marks rural broadband completion

07 Jun 16

The first phase of the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative has been completed, with Communications Minister Amy Adams on site in Waipu to celebrate the milestone on Friday.

The completion of Phase 1 of the RBI new tower programme sees 154 new cell towers now built ahead of schedule.

Adams says that under the RBI, nearly 300,000 rural families and businesses are now able to access high speed 3G and 4G broadband services.

Under original specifications, the fixed wireless broadband service was to provide at least 5Mbps peak download speeds. Recent testing shows the 4G service is delivering speeds nine times faster than originally promised, Adams says.

“The new tower build has extended nationwide mobile coverage by 6200 square kilometres to reach a total of 125,700 square kilometres of coverage in rural New Zealand,” Adams says.

“The programme has extended coverage to areas where previously there was none. 

“At the start of the build, nationwide mobile coverage of New Zealand’s land mass was at 38%. With the rollout of RBI, mobile coverage is now approximately 50% of the country’s mass,” she explains.

In 2011 the Government signed a $60 million contract with Vodafone for the supply of services under the RBI. Alongside this, 387 towers will be upgraded nationwide by June 2017.

“The contract we signed with Vodafone allowed co-located operators to install their own equipment on the towers to provide their own mobile or broadband services,” says Adams.

“This agreement has been very successful, with approximately four out of every five new cell towers hosting a mix of competing operators,” she explains.

“Improved connectivity reduces the geographic and social isolation of people living and working in rural communities, and for those travelling through these areas.

“The second phase of the RBI programme will see a further $150 million allocated to extend rural and mobile connectivity,” adds Adams.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."