Kiwis in rural areas rejoice. The three main telcos Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees have joined forced to expand and improve broadband and mobile internet coverage in rural areas
The three companies submitted a proposal to the government in which they pledge to invest hundreds of million dollars to boost coverage and bring high-speed internet to rural communities and schools.
The troika Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees hope to tap the Rural Broadband Initiative Extension Fund for financing. The first phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) has already been completed, and the three telcos target the second phase (RBI2). The Mobile Black Spot Fund is another funding source that the trio seek.
Why do Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees co-operate?
The competition is normally fierce between the nation’s leading mobile and broadband providers. So how come they co-operate on this project? The reason is that it’s the only way to economically justify the costs. It’s the only economically viable option to bring high-speed broadband and 4G internet to many rural areas in New Zealand.
More than 90% of households already have access to high-speed mobile internet. The remaining 10% predominantly live in remote rural areas, which is where the joint venture plans to improve coverage by 25% by installing 500 new cell towers. The number of households that will gain access to faster internet exceeds 300,000. Thus, this is an initiative of significant national importance.