NZRFG submits RBI bid, rural schools could get 1Gbit/s speeds

The New Zealand Regional Fibre Group today announced its bid for the government's Rural Broadband Initiative, only hours after Telecom and Vodafone announced their partnership in applying for the scheme.

The NZRFG today said that if successful in winning the government's RBI contract, it would provide rural schools with network speeds of up to 1Gbit/s, substantially higher than the government's proposed 100Mbits/s.

The group also plans to offer "fibre to the farm" at speeds of 100Mbits/s to ensure a "UFB equivalent experience" is given to rural customers, said NZRFG chief executive Vaughan Baker.

Telecom and Vodafone announced earlier today that they would be providing rural homeowners with minimum speeds of 5Mbits/s, which Baker said "isn't good enough".

"Our proposal is about truly enabling rural New Zealanders," Baker said.

Baker also said that the NZRFG was in the best position to build a truly open access infrastructure on a "non-discriminatory" basis.

The NZRFG's rollout is scheduled over six years, and the 1Gbit/s connections to schools may be in place within four, he said.

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Siobhan Keogh

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