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Vodafone welcomes new targets for rural broadband [6/10/15]

Media Release
06 October, 2015

Vodafone welcomes new targets for rural broadband

Vodafone congratulates the Government with today’s announcement of new connectivity targets for rural broadband. Rural New Zealand is the powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy where access to high-speed broadband and mobile has become a critical tool on the farm and in the home. The peak broadband speed target of at least 50Mbps announced today is one which we are confident of delivering.

Russell Stanners, CEO says “delivering these speeds to 99% of New Zealanders is a commendable target. We are committed to going further and faster for rural New Zealand. We’ve seen a big shift in the behaviour of rural customers. Over our rural network data usage has multiplied by 270% in the past two years with a 60% increase in voice growth. It’s clear rural New Zealanders want – and deserve – more”.

The goals for the second Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) and the Mobile Blackspot Initiative must be to achieve the widest land and population coverage for the available funding, and roadmaps that are future proofed - including first class speeds.

Use of wireless technology in the more remote parts of New Zealand is the best way to leverage this significant investment. We have been delivering the first Rural Broadband Initiative since 2011 and we know our customers require access to high speed broadband and mobile everywhere, rather than at one fixed location. Farmers do not stay still; they need constant access to wireless connectivity all around the farm to enable use of real-time digital applications that can improve productivity and manage costs.

Getting the settings right is critical for ensuring New Zealanders can harness the economic and social opportunities afforded by ubiquitous and high speed connectivity.

Key statistics:
• To date, Vodafone has built 123 new cell sites and upgraded 326 cell sites under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI)
• To date, more than 254,000 address points have access to rural broadband (and mobile) services under the RBI today
• Over Vodafone’s rural network data usage has multiplied by 270% in the past two years with a 60% increase in voice growth.


ENDS

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