What is RBI?

The Rural Broadband Initiative, or RBI, is now complete and has delivered better broadband to rural schools, health providers, some libraries and tens of thousands of residents up and down the country.

A combination of copper, fibre and wireless networks has been used to overcome the technical and financial difficulties that come from line distance and low population density.

While RBI is now complete, Chorus remains committed to continually improving broadband in rural New Zealand. As part of this commitment, as part of our business as usual work, we will continue to upgrade further cabinets before the end of the year.

Chorus' role
Our priority for RBI was getting fibre to rural schools, medical facilities and some libraries followed by rural businesses and homes. Because Fibre isn’t always an option due to distance, we also installed 1,200 fibre-fed cabinets to deliver fixed line broadband access to around 57% of rural New Zealand. We worked with Vodafone to also provide fixed wireless solutions to some rural communities.

The Rural Broadband Initiative saw:

  • More than 3,500km of fibre laid
  • Over 1,200 new broadband cabinets installed or upgraded, resulting in better broadband for about 110,000 homes and businesses
  • Over 40,000 lines enabled in rural areas to access broadband services that had no previous access
  • Over 1,000 rural schools connected to fibre
  • Fibre access to 39 hospitals or integrated family health centres
  • Fibre access to 183 rural libraries
  • More than 150 new Vodafone cell sites connected to fibre providing fixed broadband