Podcast: Audio of press conference on rural broadband

Communications minister Steven Joyce yesterday annouced a $285 million deal has been finalised to contract Telecom and Vodafone to extend broadband to rural areas.

The main points of the deal allow for:

– 86 percent of rural houses and businesses access to peak speeds of at least 5Mbps
– 154 new cell phone towers and 380 existing cell towers upgraded to enable fixed wireless broadband, as well as improved mobile coverage.
– Telecom to extend its fibre network by 3,100 kms
– Additional 6,200 sq km of mobile coverage
– 700 rural schools connected to fibre networks, 48 schools digital microwave radio connections
– Wholesale prices comparable to urban pricing
– Telecom and Vodafone competitors able to access infrastructure on non-discriminatory basis
– Telecom extending urban-like fixed-line broadband speeds to 57 percent of rural customers
– Upgrade path to 4G

Click the player below to listen back to the audio: