RBI phase 2 preferred suppliers announced

Chorus and Network Tasman to pick up lion's share of second phase Rural Broadband Initiative deployment

Preferred providers for the final Rural Broadband Initiative, worth $14.4 million, have been announced. It’s the second phase of the $300 million initiative.

Fibre connections will be provided for 193 provincial schools 183 rural public libraries, 37 rural hospitals and 10 health centres. In addition, 57 remote schools will be upgraded to faster broadband, capable of being used for the Network for Learning.

Chorus and Network Tasman will deploy fibre worth $12 million. Network Tasman will focus on the roll out in Wakefield, Mapua, Motueka and Picton.

Inspire.net, Gisborne.net, Chorus and Araneo have been selected to do a further $2.4 million of work, connecting the 57 remote schools and their surrounding communities with wireless broadband. The remote schools include those on Stewart and Great Barrier islands.

The government had earlier announced a special grant to improve telecommunications services on the Chatham Islands. The three schools on the island will receive enhanced satellite broadband.

Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe says the rollout will be completed by the end of 2015.

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