What is the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two (RBI2)?

Further upgrade to rural broadband

Across the country these upgrades will see around 47,000 rural households and business with improved service, where capacity on congested rural broadband networks is increased.

Click here for the media release.

In 2017, Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) assessed that 90,000 rural households and businesses cannot access broadband speeds of at least 20 Mbps download. The RBI2 programme aims to reduce this number as much as possible.

RBI2 seeks to provide fast broadband to the greatest number of under-served rural homes and businesses within the funding available, and contribute towards achieving similar rates of access to fast broadband by rural end users across all regions of New Zealand

CIP has contracted to provide enhanced broadband for approximately 84,000 of these 90,000 households and businesses (including some commercial coverage from mobile operators) commencing deployment in 2018 and will be substantially complete by 2022.

CIP is partnering with the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) (a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2 degrees) to provide RBI2 coverage.

Alongside this, CIP is partnering with fifteen regional Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs):

Broadband extended to 99.8% of the population

  • 10,000 rural households and businesses
  • 365km of State Highways
  • 59 tourism areas

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi have announced that significant additional rural broadband and mobile coverage will be deployed around the country over the next four years due to the expansion of the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two/Mobile Black Spots Fund (RBI2/MBSF) programme.

Click here for the press release.

For more information on this additional rural broadband and mobile coverage, see this fact sheet.

Follow this link for more information on new coverage.