The Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is making “steady progress”, with Communications Minister Amy Adams reporting that 87 percent of new and upgraded towers are now complete.
Compared to a year ago, Government figures show a 32 percent increase in rural New Zealand households and businesses able to connect to faster broadband.
As a result of the progress of RBI, Adams says almost 280,000 rural households and businesses can now access fixed wireless or improved fixed line broadband.
During the past twelve months, RBI towers built in the last year have increased by 23 percent to total 135 new towers, and there are now 336 upgraded towers nationwide.
“The RBI is also extending mobile coverage to rural areas across New Zealand,” Adams adds.
“Rural users are already taking advantage of these benefits - in the last three months, almost 1.8 million individual mobile devices accessed services from the new RBI towers on just one network.”
Adams says Chorus has upgraded more than 1180 cabinets in rural areas under the RBI, which means more than 106,000 rural households and businesses can now access faster broadband.
“As we move into 2016 I look forward to more and more New Zealanders connecting to RBI and maximising the benefits of this exciting, next generation infrastructure,” Adams adds.