Originally published: February 8, 2011
Last updated: February 8, 2011 - 9:57pm
New Zealand's top two telecommunications companies have been chosen for negotiation with the New Zealand government to provide fast Internet services to rural areas.
Telecom and Vodafone proposed in November a joint venture to build a new, open access network for broadband in rural areas. Telecom is New Zealand's biggest full service telecommunications company, while Vodafone is the country's biggest mobile provider, and the government is confident the solution proposed can be deployed, Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce said. The government wants the new network to provide fast Internet fibre connections to 97 percent of rural schools and 80 percent of rural households within six years. The companies have said the fibre and wireless services will be open to all providers. Telecom will build fibre to schools and hospitals, cell sites and rural exchanges and cabinets, and Vodafone will design and build infrastructure the two companies use to co-locate their mobile services on.
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