Rural broadband: final proposals sought
The government has today issued a request for proposals for its Rural Broadband Initiative.
In April, expressions of interest were sought from organisations and groups of organisations interested in participating with the government to roll-out fast broadband infrastructure to rural New Zealand.
The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Steven Joyce, says a significant number of high quality proposals were received.
“These have informed our final decisions on how to proceed with upgrading rural telecommunications infrastructure.
“We are now seeking national coverage proposals, rather than region by region proposals.
“It’s clear that some national infrastructure companies will be able to meet the government’s rural broadband objectives, along with having the financial backing to guarantee their proposal, across the whole country.
“It was also evident that while regional bidders were able to make a significant impact on broadband coverage, they would fall short of achieving the Government’s targets for coverage,” says Mr Joyce.
As a result, the government is encouraging regional infrastructure companies and other stakeholders to partner with national bidders, and is providing an additional six weeks for proposals to be prepared in light of the discussions that will need to be held with regional companies and stakeholders.
“With this approach I am confident we will achieve our target of 80 per cent of rural households and businesses having access to broadband services of 5Mbps or better and the remaining 20 per cent on speeds of 1Mbps within the -six year period,” says Mr Joyce.
“I expect the first agreement to provide fast rural broadband to be signed by the end of this year.”
The tender process closes on 12 November 2010. Intending participants in the tender process should download the Request for Proposal from www.gets.govt.nz. Information on the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative is available at www.med.govt.nz/rural-broadband.