07 Feb 2011
New Zealand's Kordia has slammed the government decision to choose the Telecom NZ/Vodafone joint bid for a rural broadband project, stating it will ensure a continued duopoly in the nation.
Communications minister Stephen Joyce today announced that the government had started commercial negotiations with the pair for the NZ$285 million ($218.9m) Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).
The deal will see Telecom NZ extend its fiber network to 252,000 rural customers, as well as the co-construction 154 fiber-connected mobile towers.
Joyce said the joint proposal was the only one that would increase mobile coverage, and “it will ensure serious competition in the last mile with many rural customers being able to choose from fixed wireless, ADSL2+ and mobile broadband.”
But Kordia, which submitted a competing bid for the project in co-operation with FX Networks, has argued the deal will do the opposite.
Jeoff Hunt, CEO of the state-owned backhaul and broadcast operator, alleged that Vodafone had no plans to offer a wholesale end-to-end service for access seekers.