Vodafone hints at Govt partnership following UFB rollout plans

“The RBI has been already been incredibly successful and we’ll look closely to see if we can partner with the Government again."

Vodafone New Zealand has welcomed government plans to further accelerate investment in urban fibre and see more rural New Zealanders benefiting from faster internet and improved mobile coverage.

As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon Amy Adams committed to extending 80 percent of New Zealanders, alongside plans to expand rural connectivity.

Vodafone CEO, Russell Stanners, says the Government’s announcement, coupled with the industry’s own ongoing investment, will deliver "tremendous benefits" for all New Zealanders.

“The RBI has been already been incredibly successful and we’ll look closely to see if we can partner with the Government again,” he says.

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with RBI to date. Our customers have told us the huge difference access to high-speed broadband makes to their everyday lives.

“The productivity gains just from completing online activities with a reliable internet connection are significant, and the additional benefit of mobile coverage in rural areas has been particularly well received through RBI.”

In the last quarter, Stanners says more than 1.5 million individual Vodafone customers accessed mobile services from the 104 new RBI towers built since the start of the programme.

Independent speed tests completed in June 2014 by Epitiro show rural users are getting average speeds of 8Mbps with Vodafone’s Rural Broadband – greater than many people with ADSL connections in urban areas.

“Through RBI we’re already delivering mobile coverage to over 4,500kms of rural roads, but the development of this to address mobile blackspots is positive for emergency services and transport logistics, which will benefit from continuous mobile coverage in some hard to reach areas,” Stanners adds.

“As a major Fibre retail provider, we support New Zealand’s Fibre future, and the expansion of the Ultra-Fast Broadband programme.

“We believe Chorus and existing LFC providers can expand UFB from 75% to 80% of New Zealanders in the most cost effective and efficient way.”

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