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Chorus awarded bigger chunk of kiwi rural rollout

Over NZ$12m in new contracts

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Chorus, the former utility arm of Telecom New Zealand, has secured additional contracts in the deployment of New Zealand’s rural national broadband network.

As part of the second phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), Chorus and Network Tasman will deploy fibre to provincial schools, rural hospitals, Health Centres and public libraries, worth NZ$12 million.

Under the RBI Phase 2 deployment contract in the North Island, Central and Lower South Island, Chorus will receive a large portion of the $12m allocated by the Government, as well as a small share of the $2.4m funding for remote schools.

Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe said, “Chorus’ existing 29,000km fibre network means we can quickly connect these community focal points and we will work with local communities to complete this rollout by the end of 2015. ”

Chorus has been working on the RBI since July last year and has deployed 345km of fibre connecting 234 rural schools and 104 fibre-fed roadside cabinets, putting fixed line broadband within reach of thousands of rural homes and businesses.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams said this contract signalled the second and final phase of the Government's $NZ300m Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).

The contracts provide for 193 provincial schools, 183 rural public libraries, 37 rural hospitals and ten Health Centres receiving fibre connections. In addition, 57 remote schools will be upgraded to faster broadband, capable of being used for the Network for Learning.

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