Rural Broadband Update: RBI2
The RBI2 (Rural Broadband Initiative - Stage 2) extension bids listing the last 15% of the UFB (Ultra-Fast Broadband - 84% to 85% of UFB to be completed by 2024) rollout is going to be an interesting race between the different providers. An extension/upgrade to the existing copper is possibly the cheapest solution (both in implementation and ongoing internet plan purchase) and provides the most stable solution whereas the 4G solution is more flexible in regards to its coverage with better performance in a perfect world but at a greater ongoing cost.
Those towns and areas not already covered under the UFB1 and UFB2 rollout will likely be covered under the proposed RBI2 initiative. Examples of this include towns like Arthurs Pass, Springfield, Castle Hill, etc.
Crown Holdings to release outcome in the biding process in July 2017 which when tied into the recently released UFB2 schedule will provide all towns and areas within NZ a clearly defined roadmap for internet based services across NZ. The question then becomes when.