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Kordia, Woosh and FX Bid Shortlisted for RBI

Auckland, New Zealand: - OpenGate (Kordia and Woosh Wireless) and FX Networks, who together put in a consortium response to the Rural Broadband Initiative request for proposal (RFP), say they are delighted to have been shortlisted by the Government to contract for the delivery of faster, better and cheaper broadband into rural schools and communities around New Zealand.

“This will be a step-change for broadband in rural New Zealand,” says Kordia CEO Geoff Hunt.

“We have put together an extremely compelling bid that will deliver better broadband services to rural New Zealand than urban-dwellers currently enjoy under incumbent service providers,” says Hunt. “That’s ‘city-quality’ broadband or better, at city prices.”

“The three of us (Kordia, Woosh and FX) have a long history of driving competition, innovation and lower prices into the urban market, and we’re looking to push that same competition out into rural areas, starting now,” says Hunt.

FX Networks will deliver on the fibre component of the RFP, and OpenGate will be responsible for the wholesale wireless access product delivering “last mile” connectivity to rural New Zealand.

The consortium, unlike the incumbents, has little legacy revenue to protect in rural New Zealand, and has therefore been able to pull together a solution that delivers the most open access network conceivable. If successful, the consortium will be able to rapidly commence deployment, as 75% of the requisite hilltop sites already exist. Competing local, regional and national telecommunications service providers - including Telecom and Vodafone - will be able to create services for their customers across the OpenGate wireless network, driving true competition into rural New Zealand.

And spectrum is an important issue.

“Together, Kordia and Woosh have a whopping 70MHz of strategic 2.3GHz spectrum which can be used right now to deliver an LTE solution that will future-proof the connectivity of rural New Zealanders,” says Woosh Chairman, Rod Inglis.

The proposed OpenGate and FX solution will exceed the MED’s service level targets (which are for 80% of rural New Zealand households to receive a minimum of 5Mbps), by delivering 10Mbps to 83% of rural New Zealand, and breaking through the 80% coverage target within two years. FX Networks’ CEO Murray Jurgeleit says that the consortium firmly believes that the Government wants to deliver New Zealanders a real solution that is better than just ‘more of the same’.

“For us, delivering a solution to rural Kiwis - that’s better than what most city people get, and at better prices - is where we will be,” he says.

“We believe that opening up the rural sector to real competition, rather than further entrenching a duopoly, will ensure that rural New Zealand keeps up with the world’s best in the years ahead,” says Jurgeleit.


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