13 Aug 2009

Government urged to reveal rural broadband plans

7:39 am on 13 August 2009

The Telecommunications Users Association is giving the Government a hurry up to unveil its broadband plans for rural New Zealand.

The Government plans to deliver ultra-fast broadband to three-quarters of the population within 10 years through fibre-optic cable.

Satellite-based communications company Farmside and the country's biggest mobile phone operator Vodafone have announced an alternative for rural communities.

They say with their existing technology they can provide access to high speed internet dial-up anywhere in the country, immediately.

Farmside, which already has 10,000 rural subscribers using satellite, says the idea of getting fibre optics to all rural areas is a pipe-dream.

Ernie Newman of the Telecommunications Users Association disagrees but says the Government does need to reveal its plans for rural broadband services.