For a few years, as part the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), we have subsidised charges for fibre build activities for many RBI users, based on certain location and density criteria. This programme recognised on the world stage for delivering social impact is now complete. We are giving 12-months’ notice of our intention to withdraw all subsidised fibre build charges under the RBI scheme, effective 18 March 2021.
Delivering social impact
Our priority for RBI was getting fibre to rural schools, medical facilities, mobile cell sites and some libraries followed by rural businesses and homes. As part of the RBI program we also installed or upgraded 1,200 cabinets with fibre backhaul and modem equipment to deliver fixed line broadband access to around 57% of rural New Zealand.
Thanks to this programme, 110,000 households and businesses got access to faster broadband. Before the cabinet upgrades, residents and businesses in these rural areas could generally only access broadband speeds of between one and five million bits per second. At the completion of the program, the average speed in these areas is about 10 Mbps.
The programme, in partnership with Network for Learning, also delivered fibre broadband to 1,000 rural schools, ensuring that students now have access to the same opportunities as their urban counterparts.
As of today, we are giving 12-months’ notice of our intention to withdraw all subsidised fibre build charges under the RBI scheme for new connections, effective 18 March 2021.
RBI is now complete, but we remain committed to continually improving broadband in rural New Zealand.
From 18 March 2021 all fibre build requests via our NGA on Application process for pricing to sites outside all Chorus UFB candidate areas will not be eligible for the current RBI Zone A (high density $810) and Zone B (medium density $1,980) fixed prices and will instead all be priced on a Zone C (low density) Price on Application basis.
Next steps & contact
For any queries please contact your Chorus Account Manager or Service Delivery Manager.