The New Zealand Government fully understands the needs and requirements for broadband in the more rural parts of the country and as a result of this they actioned the Rural Broadband Initiative with the goal of bringing a broadband connection to 86% of rural customers by 2016.
This initiative has been awarded as a contract to Chorus and Vodafone and is backed by a budget of $300 million NZD. The broadband connection that Vodafone and Chorus are targetting for rural consumers is a minimum of 5Mbit/s.
The plan to achieve this involves Vodafone installing 154 new cell towers and upgrading 387 new mobile cell towers across New Zealand. This has added over 250,000 addresses to the Vodafone 3G coverage across New Zealand.
By December 2014 Vodafone had successfully installed 104 new towers and already upgraded 305 of th other towers, this has already given a growth in mobile broadband coverage in rural areas of 231,010 addresses. The Chorus Broadband element of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is to provide a super fast fibre broadband connection to the new Vodafone mobile broadband towers as well as linking in with over 1,000 schools, 183 libraries and 50 different health providers. In order to do this, Chorus will be carrying out a number of different upgrades as well as installing 1215 new cabinets to increase the overall coverage on broadband via Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON), Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL) and Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) coverage to an additional 100,000 lines.
As of December 2014 Chorus had already successfully upgraded and installed 81,040 lines across New Zealand which have seen an 80% uptake rate.
So obviously as you can see, rural broadband is definitely improving but getting decent broadband in some rural areas of New Zealand can still be tricky... That's where Broadband:Compare.co.nz is here to help! Whilst it may be tricky to track down a broadband provider in some rural areas of New Zealand we have pulled together a comparison of New Zealand's best rural broadband providers, splitting out by location and area as well as detailing any particular challenges that may come with your rural broadband connection.
Check out the Broadband:Compare.co.nz rural broadband providers section for specific NZ rural broadband offerings for you to compare and contrast.