I have a farm business near Takaka in the tourist hotspot Golden Bay. Like many in this area we use a Telecom T-stick as XT coverage here is better than Vodafone (which seems to only work well when the booster is installed each summer tourist season). I prepay $50 for 2GB and the 1Mbps speed of my old first generation T-stick is just fine other than during Dec-Feb when all the skyping/facebooking tourist smartphones overload the cell sites. I could go to a $80 for 4 GB plan if needed and get a T-stick that would deliver ~3-4 mbps, but speed is not so important, getting a reasonable data allowance per dollar is.
I disagree that the goals/claims on vodafone's "bridging the digital divide" are being achieved...
I will probably retain my (powercut proof) telecom landline with $25 unlimited national & Australia calling deal, and buy a fast new 21 Mbps (4 avg) T-stick...
even with its eye watering non- "urban comparable" $80/mth for 4GB plan.
The "urban comparable" RBI... involves ~$700 installation, $100/mth for 5GB at ~5 Mbps.
The majority of people I know in this rural area have a landline to call elderly relatives whom do not skype etc, and they would like to pay less for a non-VOIP service. Most see the $30-$80 they spend each month for internet connection as being a justifyible amount, $100+ is not.
Where did the Goverment grants go?
Certainly not toward providing a service vastly different to us than the pre-existing XT/T-stick provides.
40+ Farms and house holds here have now joined www valley net nz...
$42/mth for 5GB at 3 mbps... That is what RBI should have supplied ideally, pity I'm not in line of sight for it.
There could possibly be low RBI uptake here as prices/caps are at present.
The school 6km away has 100 Mbps fibre. The teachers are keen to move toward online content and provide homework which requires internet connection. But many students live in households with either no internet, or limited data usage available. The Digital divide is not going away with this RBI investment.