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Telecom Rural Broadband Coverage To Reach 80%

Telecom Rural Broadband Coverage To Reach 80%

Telecom expects broadband coverage to reach around 80 percent of rural New Zealand households by June 2004.

Chief Operating Officer, Simon Moutter, said Telecom’s rural broadband plans reflect the company’s commitment to a smart New Zealand future.

“Through partnerships and investments, we will expand rural broadband coverage to around 80% in the coming 12 months, using existing broadband technology over copper lines together with new wireless technology.

“Satellite broadband technology could be used to expand coverage further. We are trialing it at the moment to see if it is commercially viable.”

E-farming – which is the theme of this year’s Fieldays – is tipped to be the next big source of competitive advantage for New Zealand agriculture.

“Telecom’s 80% broadband coverage target is crucial to the success of e-farming and the use of the e-farming services on show,” said Mr Moutter.

“We’ve also been working with companies like Fonterra, which is planning a special broadband internet network for its 17,000 suppliers.”

Telecom has a comprehensive plan for broadband services in rural New Zealand based on three technologies – ADSL, Wireless and Satellite.

ADSL is the JetStream fast internet service that connects customers via their telephone lines. ADSL availability depends on distance from the local exchange and whether that exchange has been upgraded for broadband. Currently 46% of customers in provincial New Zealand can access JetStream through ADSL.

Telecom is continuing to develop JetStream capability on its network. In May, we upgraded exchanges for JetStream in Turangi, Pleasant Point, plus 10 in rural Southland – including the Halfmoon Bay exchange on Stewart Island. Upgrades will continue throughout New Zealand this month.

Telecom Jetstream coverage is among the highest in the world and due to the excellent condition of our copper network – it runs faster and further than most countries’ networks.

Wireless broadband is a service Telecom will deliver through a partnership with BCL. We expect it will be commercially available in many areas from late this year.

By June 2004, Telecom expects the combination of ADSL JetStream and Wireless JetStream to have increased fast internet access to around 80 percent of rural New Zealand.

For those customers not covered by ADSL JetStream or Wireless JetStream, Telecom is developing a satellite broadband service to deliver fast internet to virtually anywhere in New Zealand. Commercial release of the satellite broadband service is expected to be around 12 to 18 months away.

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