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National rural focus strong for NZRFG

National rural focus strong for NZRFG

A formula to bring dramatically improved broadband speeds to rural New Zealand via fibre networks is being devised by the New Zealand Regional Fibre Group.

The concept will allow for a cocktail of fixed, mobile and wireless technology to be provided to rural communities over an open access fibre network.

It will be submitted to the Government in response to the Ministry of Economic Development’s just-issued ‘Request for Proposal’ which is designed to deliver on the Crown’s Rural Broadband Initiative.

CEO of the NZRFG, Vaughan Baker, says the group plans to submit what he believes will be a highly competitive, nationally coordinated response that delivers strong value for rural communities – reaching a greater percentage of New Zealanders than the Government was originally aiming for.

“We are looking to partner with others to bring the best value to the table for the Government and rural New Zealanders through a multi-faceted solution of fixed fibre assets, mobile and wireless technology. This will ensure rural communities benefit from the most appropriate, future-proof, fibre-driven technology that our regionally based members can provide,” says Mr Baker.

“Our members simply want to be the suppliers of infrastructure that enables competitive and innovative retail service providers wanting to access and add value to the rural sector,” says Mr Baker.

“There has been plenty of comment regarding the amount of Government funding available to rural New Zealand for faster broadband and we need to apply these funds wisely to ensure benefits to the community are maximised. No-one is more acutely aware of the current challenges faced by rural New Zealanders than our members and the RBI provides an unprecedented opportunity to provide a real step-change in rural broadband connectivity.

“The common service organisation the NZRFG is proposing as part of our urban UFB proposal will sit across our entire rural broadband infrastructure, ensuring that our members can continue to leverage their asset base and community knowledge, while working in partnership to exceed the performance targets set by the Crown.”

While the NZRFG is supportive of the Government’s commitment to rural New Zealand, Mr Baker says the group firmly believes ultra-fast connectivity should reach the wider rural communities – not just schools and hospitals.

“We remain committed to bringing fibre network speeds of up to 100Mbit/s to as many New Zealanders as possible, by leveraging off the urban fibre builds.“

The lines and fibre company collective, an amalgamation of 19 entities spanning the length and breadth of the country, says New Zealanders deserve considerably better broadband reliability and speed than copper allows.


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