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 get up to 100Mbps access to the internet. "
Chorus and Vodafone are working together to deliver the Government's RBI programme which will see much of rural New Zealand getting better broadband.
Delivering better broadband to rural areas is challenging, with line distance and low population density making it difficult both technically and financially. This challenge was acknowledged 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 is provided - either fixed line broadband (over the our copper and fibre networks) 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.
We have made great progess. We are now well past the halfway mark in our rollout of fibre andhigh speed broadband cabinets. At 30 June 2014, a total of about 3,100km of fibre had been laid for the programme, with fibre extended to 951 schools. The rollout had also brought new or upgraded broadband coverage within reach of 72,000 rural lines and broadband uptake was approximately 80%.
The RBI numbers - by the end of the programme:
" As at June 2014 we had laid 3,100 km of fibre and brought 72,000 lines within reach of better broadband and 951 rural schools are able to connect to fibre. "
- 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 over 1,000 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 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 been 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.
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.