Telecom NZ, Vod bid for broadband project

Dylan Bushell-Embling
12 Nov 2010

New Zealand's two largest operators, Telecom NZ and Vodafone NZ, have jointly bid for the right to build a wholesale network under the government’s new rural broadband program.

The two have proposed combining assets to roll out a state-funded open-access network reaching 92% of the population.

In the joint submission to the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), Telecom has said it would provide its existing fiber infrastructure and extend this to rural POPs including schools and hospitals.

Vodafone would contribute the use of its mobile assets and build new towers for colocation.

“This solution sees New Zealand’s two [biggest] providers combining their extensive resources to bring the benefits of high speed broadband to rural communities as quickly as possible,” Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds said.

Rival TelstraClear welcomed the collaboration, and said it would use the network if the joint bid proves successful.

The New Zealand government in March finalized plans for the RBI project, which will support the government's goals of ensuring fiber access to 97% of NZ schools and 99.7% of students, and at least 5Mbps broadband to 97% of households.

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