About the Rural Broadband Initiative
The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is bringing better broadband to rural schools, health providers, some libraries and tens of thousands of rural residents.
" Technology is no longer a barrier to children going to rural schools. They will have the same up to 100Mbps access to the internet as those attending schools in urban areas. "
Chorus and Vodafone are working together to deliver the Government's RBI programme which delivers better broadband to rural New Zealand.
Delivering better broadband to rural areas is challenging, with distances and low population density making it difficult both technically and financially. This challenge was acknowledge by Government and RBI was conceived.
RBI pulls together several elements that mean 87% of rural New Zealand will getter better broadband. It incorporates copper, fibre and wireless networks to deliver better broadband. Where you live and work determines what solution provides either fixed line broadband (over the Chorus copper network) or fixed wireless broadband (over Vodafone's mobile network).
The main task for Chorus is laying fibre to rural schools, medical facilities and and some libraries, often to exchange areas where there isn’t fibre today. In addition, Chorus will deliver fibre to new Vodafone mobile sites that will be used to provide a fixed wireless broadband to rural communities.
If you want better broadband, talk to your service provider for more information about plans, prices and installation processes.
" As at June 2013 we had laid 2,150 km of fibre and brought 51,200 lines within reach of better broadband. "
- Chorus is laying 3,350 km of fibre by the end of the programme in 2015
- We are installing or upgrading over 1,000 new broadband cabinets
- We are enabling over 40,000 lines in rural areas to access broadband services that had no previous access
- Connecting 1,040 rural schools to fibre
- Connecting 154 new Vodafone cell sites to fibre
- 50 hospitals and family health centres will have the benefit of 100Mbps fibre connections
- We are connecting 183 rural libraries to fibre
Bringing 'urban' broadband speeds to rural New Zealand
We are delivering rural fixed line broadband to 57% of rural New Zealand. This gives you the same same broadband services as we provide to towns and cities.
We are committed to delivering at least 5 Mbps to the farms, homes and businesses with access our rural fixed line broadband.
This is only part of the story. Most of those lines should experience speeds of 10 Mbps. And over 30% of homes, farms and businesses supplied via our new cabinets can access a VDSL2 broadband service with speeds in excess of 20 Mbps. This is the fastest service over our existing copper network.
You can check what broadband services are currently available at your address using our Network Capability Map. This will also give you an indication of planned upgrades to improve your broadband services.
Technology and coverage of our RBI broadband
||% rural lines within reach
||Distance from cabinet/exchange
||up to 6km
||up to 2.4km
||installation cost the limiting factor
We are now offering fibre connections to eligible farms, businesses and homes. The key eligibility criteria is whether Chorus has deployed new duct infrastructure in which fibre has or will be deployed as part of RBI.
Eligible farms, businesses and homes will be able to connect enabling broadband speed of up to 100Mbps. You can check our Rural Fibre map which indicates where new infrastructure ducts have been deployed. Please contact a telecommunications service provider for more information including details of installation costs and plans.
We can't provide faster fixed line broadband to everyone in rural New Zealand
Distances and low population density means that we can't deliver faster fixed line broadband to all parts of New Zealand. This challenge was acknowledge by government in the Rural Broadband Initiative and Vodafone is partnering to deliver fixed wireless broadband to 86% of rural households.
" If you are within 800 metres of one of our fibre-fed cabinets you could get broadband speeds in excess of 20 Mbps, at 5-6 kilometres you are kikely to get around 1 Mbps. "
We use a technology called Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) to deliver broadband services over our copper network. Due to the resistence inherent in copper lines the maximum distance we can push a broadband signal is around five to six kilometres from the exchange or cabinet supplying the service.
The closer you are to the cabinet or exchange supplying your broadband services, the faster the speeds you experience. You can read more about distance and the challenge of delivering broadband over copper.
We regularly review our investment plans but our capital expenditure only stretches so far. If you are unhappy with your broadband speeds or can't get broadband at all there are some options:
- Check if you can access Vodafone's RBI fixed wireless broadband service
- There are a number of regional wireless broadband providers as well. Google your region and 'wireless broadband provider'.
- Consider a satellite broadband service. Farmside offers a satellite service to rural New Zealand.
- Work within your local community to identify opportunities created by the fibre connection to your school.
These shape files highlight the approximate broadband coverage areas for our Years 1 to 5 of our RBI rollout. While each RBI cabinet or exchange coverage area will highlight whether speeds of 1Mbps or 5Mbps are the expected attainable peak information rate, this is indicative information only and a formal prequalification check is required to confirm service availability.