Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


400,000 rural Kiwis benefit from NZRFG broadband

400,000 rural Kiwis to benefit from NZRFG broadband plan

Almost 400,000 rural homeowners not currently served by broadband could benefit from a New Zealand Regional Fibre Group led ‘fibre to the farm’ initiative.

The NZRFG’s proposed national solution for connecting rural New Zealand with world class broadband speeds - through a mix of fixed fibre, mobile and wireless - will pay dividends for Kiwis living in traditional rural districts, says CEO Vaughan Baker.

As the NZRFG prepares to submit a national tender for the government’s $300 million Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), members are ploughing ahead with fibre connections to farms and rural homeowners – something they will do much faster if successful in securing the Ministry of Economic Development’s rural funding.

Ultimately the group, which has advocated the need for much improved rural connectivity levels, would like to unleash more remote areas of the rural community with up to gigabit speeds and beyond - putting them on a level playing field with their urban cousins.

Under its urban fibre network builds the Government requires minimum fibre network speeds of 100Mbit/s to rural schools and the NZRFG wants rural New Zealanders to experience similar speeds wherever possible.

In fact, some members are making that happen now.

The South Island’s Electricity Ashburton already has farmers on its fibre network, while Pukekohe based Counties Power is close to linking its first rural customers.

Those already connected say they won’t go back to copper-based broadband and the NZRFG member companies building the fibre networks plan to continue connecting rural homes and businesses.

Electricity Ashburton General Manager Gordon Guthrie says the decision to build a fibre network was made in 2008. 330km of fibre and over $8 million later, the dairy farmers on the company’s initial fibre trial will soon be able to receive symmetrical network speeds of 100Mbit/s to their cowsheds and homes.

Even at the current 10Mbit/s trial speed they are becoming the region’s biggest advocates for fibre.

“We are already seeing in the farmers using our fibre, steady improvements in their business models and these efficiencies will continue to grow,” says Mr Guthrie. “To have fibre throughout our region would be a very big boost to the area.”

Counties Power boss Neil Simmonds says he has a steady stream of farmers (from areas like Ararimu, Puni and Mauku) requesting fibre connectivity and doesn’t rule out the possibility of some trenching in the fibre themselves.

“Counties Power has completed a rural fibre design for the Franklin District and hopefully NZRFG success in the urban and rural broadband initiatives will fast-track the connection process,” says Mr Simmonds.

“Meantime we are working with other parties to help people take advantage of our fibre backbone.”


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Air New Zealand: Capital Raise Deferred

Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned capital raise to later in 2021 allowing more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery. 'We’ve seen some clearing of COVID-19 clouds recently, with ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Cartel Conduct Now Punishable By Up To 7 Years’ Jail Time

Cartel conduct can now be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years, after the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Act 2019 came into effect today. Cartel conduct includes price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging (see ... More>>

Stats NZ: Auckland Population May Hit 2 Million In Early 2030s

Auckland’s population may rise from about 1.7 million currently to 2 million by early next decade, Stats NZ said today. “Auckland will likely have the highest average annual growth of New Zealand’s 16 regions over the next 30 years, from ... More>>

Air New Zealand: Business Travellers Return To The Skies In Record Numbers

After a year of talking to a computer, Kiwis are leaving the office to re-connect with their clients, suppliers, and staff. New figures released by Air New Zealand show domestic business and corporate travel has defied global trends by returning ... More>>

PwC: Outcome Of Review Into Air New Zealand Gas Turbines Business

Air New Zealand has received the report into its Gas Turbines business from independent external advisers PwC. Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the report identified a range of effective controls in the Gas Turbines revenue contracting ... More>>

LPG Association: Renewable LPG Achieves Emissions Budgets With No Need To Ban New LPG Connections

Renewable LPG can supply New Zealand’s LPG needs and achieve the emissions reductions proposed by the Climate Commission without the need to ban new connections, a new study shows. The investigation, by leading consultancy Worley, was prepared for the ... More>>

Commerce: House Values Continue To Climb As New Government Measures Announced

The Government’s new initiatives to quell the rocketing housing market were announced last week, just as house prices hit a new high for the end of March. The average value increased 7.8% nationally over the past three-month period, up from the 6.8% ... More>>