Government invites broadband partners

$1.5 billion broadband investment takes another step

The government is inviting potential partners to participate in its planned $1.5 billion broadband rollout, a major promise in last year's election.

The Ministry of Economic Development issued the invitation (pdf) today.

The invitation reiterates that the Ultra Fast Broadband project rollout will be supported by government investment of up to $1.5 billion, which is expected to be at least matched by private sector investors and directed to open-access infrastructure.

Again, the government has stated the investment must be consistent with driving economic growth; neither discouraging, nor substituting for, private sector investment; avoiding lining the pockets of existing broadband providers; avoiding excessive infrastructure duplication; focussing on building new infrastructure, and not unduly preserving legacy assets; and ensuring affordable broadband services.

The Invitation to Participate (ITP) invites potential partners to submit proposals on how they would co-invest with the government to achieve the Ultra Fast Broadband Objective in one or more areas.

"Potential co-investors who meet certain minimum criteria will be selected to enter into discussions to further explore, and may be offered an opportunity to refine, their proposals," the document says.

"Following this, there may be negotiations with selected parties on the terms of agreements to form the basis of offers to be made by the potential co-investors to co-invest with the government in the UFB Initiative."

Ultra-fast broadband is defined as a minimum 100 Mbit/s downlink and 50 Mbit/s uplink.

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