Just received

Rural Broadband Initiative short-listed to three

Communications and Information Technology Minister, Steven Joyce, announced today that three of the five Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) proposals received on 12 November had been short-listed.

The three short-listed proposals are: Torotoro Waea, FX Networks/OpenGate and Telecom/Vodafone.

“The short-listed proposals demonstrate that they merit further evaluation based on an their plans to deliver the RBI objectives and provide open access to government-subsidised infrastructure,” says Mr Joyce.

“I continue to be encouraged by the innovation and partnering that has already occurred in the process.

“This has led to some very innovative approaches to lowering deployment costs, extending fixed and wireless coverage, and getting the fibre back bone further into rural New Zealand.

“I expect to see this collaboration strengthening as the process moves forward into the negotiation stage later this month.”

“A number of bidders have publicly discussed elements of their proposals.

“I have been impressed by the level of planning that has been undertaken and their approach to cultural, social and economic development.”

The tender for national coverage will see 80 per cent of rural households getting speeds of at least 5Mbps and the remainder receiving at least 1Mbps.

In addition, the proposals offer to connect at least 93 per cent of rural schools to fibre.

Binding contracts are expected be signed in early 2011.