Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees deliver rural broadband in NZ

Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees to deliver rural broadband in New Zealand

29 August 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

Cover

Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees have partnered to deliver rural broadband and mobile services into twenty rural location across New Zealand.

The sites, now live, are as a result of a collaboration between the three aforementioned network operators and Crown infrastructure Partners (CIP). For their part CIP contracted the Rural connect Group (RCG), which was established to provide connectivity to rural New Zealand. Now services are available to Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees customers over the RCG network.

“Keeping Kiwis connected is a top priority for Vodafone, and we’re thrilled to be working alongside Spark, 2degrees and the Government to bring connectivity to rural New Zealand, which is the powerhouse of our economy,” said Jason Paris (pictured), CEO, Vodafone NZ. “For this sector to remain competitive they need fast broadband and mobile coverage – not just in offices, but on farms, in schools, and on the roads. This once in a generation opportunity for all three mobile network operators to provide both competitive ultra-fast broadband and world class 4G mobile infrastructure will not only deliver the connectivity for rural New Zealand, but also the safety of Kiwis living in those remote areas.”

The twenty news sites are the first of more than 500 new sites and range from Far North all the way down to Southland. The new sites will provide high-speed wireless broadband and quality mobile coverage to around 1,600 rural homes and businesses, across 70kms of state highway and to 13 tourist sites.

“It’s exciting to see fast broadband and world class mobile infrastructure rolling out into rural areas around New Zealand,” added Jolie Hodson, CEO, Spark. “The connectivity is much needed to bridge the digital divide for rural communities and help the rural sector remain competitive. Bringing together the investment from Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees along with the Government’s RBI2 funding has been the key to providing service into more challenging and remote areas of New Zealand.”

The government of New Zealand through Crown Infrastructure Partners contracted the RCG to be the infrastructure provider under the Rural Broadband Initiative 2 and the Mobile Black Spot fund. Once completed, the RCG project will deliver mobile and wireless coverage to at least 38,000 rural homes and businesses. In addition, it will provide mobile coverage to a further 1,200km of state highways and provide connectivity to at least 152 top New Zealand tourist destinations by December 2022.

“We’re proud as an industry to be able to collaborate and work together where it makes sense – and our RCG partnership with Spark and Vodafone is the perfect example,” continued Paul Mathewson, 2degress chief commercial officer and RCG board member. “Connecting Kiwis with their loved ones or the people they do business with is at the heart of what drives us at 2degrees, and we’re thrilled that fast connectivity is going to reach the furthest and most remote corners of New Zealand.”