20 May 2011

Rural broadband work to start soon

5:45 am on 20 May 2011

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

Almost $1 billion was allocated in the Budget to advance the Government's ultra-fast and rural broadband intiatives.

Telecom and Vodaphone 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 three-thousand kilometres.

Mr Joyce says the two companies will begin work on the project in the next month.

He says a third of all schools will have had their internet infrastructure upgraded by the end of this year.