After the inital deadline for responses to the government’s Probe broadband project was extended, the response rate has proved greater than expected.
Carriers and other providers wanted a little longer to respond to the request for information (RFI) the government put out for those interested in supplying provincial services under the project, established in May.
However, when the second deadline passed on September 9, the result was greater than expected, Probe project director Tony van Horik says.
“We had a large number of responses — there’s some pretty heavyweight reading there.”
Van Horik is confident all 14 regions identified by the government are covered by the proposals, and says Northland, Southland and Wairarapa, which have gone their own way and put out tender proposals independent of Probe, “may be re-covered” by the proposals received last week.
Probe is now sifting through the RFI responses. The next step will involve those bidders identified as suitable candidates for supplying broadband being invited to take part in a request for proposals round.
The deadline for those tenders is mid-October. The successful bidders will be announced by the end of the year, van Horik says.
BCL confirmed last month that it is involved in tenders for all 14 regions, but declined to name any of the carriers it is partnering with in the process, apart from Telecom.