The Government has received 39 expressions of interest in the first stage of the tender process for the $300 million rural broadband scheme.
Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce says interest has come from infrastructure companies in New Zealand and from abroad.
Mr Joyce says there were also nine substantial expressions of interest covering the entire country.
The Ministry of Economic Development will issue a request for proposals in August.
Under the Government's rural broadband programme, more than 90% of schools would receive broadband at speeds of at least 100 megabytes per second, within six years.
More than 80% of rural households would have access to broadband with speeds of at least five megabytes per second.