20 May 2011

Rural broadband starts being rolled out soon

6:00 am on 20 May 2011

Communications Minister Steven Joyce says rural broadband infrastructure will start being rolled out over the next few weeks.

Nearly $1 billion has been allocated in the Budget to advance the Government's ultra-fast and rural broadband initiatives.

Telecom and Vodafone have a joint contract to deliver high-speed internet to 95% of rural schools and 86% of rural households within five years.

They will build more than 150 new cellphone towers, upgrade existing cell towers and extend existing fibre network by more than 3000 kilometres.

Mr Joyce says the two companies will begin work on the project in the next month and by the end of the year a third of all schools will have had their internet infrastructure upgraded.