Telecom and Vodafone have submitted a joint response to the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), it was announced this morning.
“The companies will combine their resources to build new, open access network infrastructure for the provision of broadband in rural areas using a range of technologies,” says the release.
The $300 million RBI is funded in part by a $48 million taxpayer grant and the remainder is from an industry levy. It is administered by the Ministry of Economic Development and the goal is the provide fibre to 97 percent of rural schools and a minimum 5Mbit/s broadband service to 80 percent of rural households within six years. See Computerworld''s article yesterday for more details.
Today’s statement outlines how a Telecom/Vodafone partnership would work.
“Telecom will be responsible for building fibre to schools and hospitals, cell sites and rural exchanges and cabinets.”
“Vodafone will be responsible for the design and build of open access tower infrastructure that Vodafone and Telecom XT will co-locate their mobile services on, as indeed could any wireless service provider who wishes to do so.”
Competiting for the funding will be an alliance between Kordia, FX Networks and Woosh. In addition the NZRFG is expected to put forward a bid.