27 Oct 2016

Govt calls for rural connectivity contractors

3:20 pm on 27 October 2016

The government is extending its broadband coverage to a possible 200 mobile black-spots, including highways and tourist areas.

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Photo: 123rf

Communications Minister Amy Adams has issued a [https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/next-phase-flagship-rural-connectivity-rollout-launched

request for proposals] to extend the government's $100 million to the Rural Broadband Initiative and a further $50m to mobile black-spots.

Ms Adams said the goal was to provide high-speed broadband to the largest number of New Zealanders and improve the availability of mobile services to areas that did not have coverage from any mobile operator.

"We've set an ambitious goal of ensuring that by 2025, 99 percent of New Zealanders will have access to broadband peak speeds of at least 50Mbps, and everyone will have at least 10Mbps," Ms Adams said.

"We also want to improve the reach of mobile services to support safety on State Highways and enhance the visitor experience for tourists."

The Mobile Black-Spot Fund would aim to provide at least 3G voice mobile networks to 200 areas currently without coverage. Tourist areas would also have preference for 4G networks.

The first contracts are to be awarded by June 2017.

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