Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Zealand - Ultrafast broadband will miss 1.3% of the population 57,000 people, rural minimum is 5 Mbps

[stuff] 1.3 PER CENT TO MISS OUT

The Government has put a number on how many people will miss out from its UFB and rural broadband (RBI) initiatives.

About 1.3 per cent of New Zealanders – 57,000 people – can expect to get little direct benefit, other than perhaps better broadband at their local school.

Telecom and Vodafone have between them guaranteed to provide broadband speeds of 5 megabits per second to about 900,000 rural Kiwis under the $285 million RBI scheme. About another 200,000 can expect at least a 1Mbps service, but Communications Minister Steven Joyce said the most remote 1.3 per cent of New Zealand households would not be able to obtain peak speeds of 1Mbps using Telecom's fixed-line network, Vodafone's rural wireless service or mobile broadband.

Mr Joyce said satellite broadband remained an option for those households, but there would be no Government subsidy.

"We are observing an increasingly competitive market for satellite services providing speeds of up to 5Mbps, available without government assistance," he said. Those communities might also be able to develop "innovative solutions" by investing in their own broadband services such as wi-fi or "mesh networks", connecting those to the "open access" RBI network, he said.


Telecom has pulled down the shutters until at least August as it prepares the documentation for its proposed sharemarket split.

The company said in a statement that securities law would constrain it from communicating any information to investors, staff or the media that could reasonably be expected to encourage shareholders to vote for or against structural separation, until after it publishes a booklet on the demerger.

The booklet will not be published until after Telecom posts its annual accounts in mid-August, at the every earliest, a spokesman said.


IDC Research analyst Rosalie Nelson said planning for Telecom's new retail business would be in full swing and the company might be considering a name change.

"It would not surprise me to see a rebranding of the name because there is a legacy carried with the Telecom brand – both good and bad – and we are now talking about an entirely new business."

The retail business would need to significantly reduce its costs and would have an incentive to persuade customers to move from fixed to mobile broadband, she said.

Ultrafast broadband watch

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