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Chorus gets $14.4 mln to extend rural broadband

Tuesday 17th April 2012

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Chorus, New Zealand’s largest telecommunications network, will receive about $14.4 million from the government to provide faster broadband to rural schools, hospitals and libraries.

Chorus is the preferred provider in the government’s $300 million Rural Broadband Initiative, which has now entered its final phase.

In return for completing the fiber rollout in the North Island and central and lower South Island, the company will receive a large portion of the $14.4 million allocated by the government to upgrade the network.

“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,” Mark Ratcliffe, chief executive at Chorus said in a statement.

Amy Adams, minister for communications and information technology said, "ensuring rural New Zealand is well connected with the latest technology is a key part of the Government's push to lift productivity and global competitiveness and to drive economic growth that benefits all New Zealanders.”

Chorus’s Ratcliffe said deployment plans for RBI are close to being finalised and will be published on Chorus’s website before the end of April.

The Wellington-based company has deployed 345 kilometres of RBI fibre connecting 234 rural schools and 104 fibre-fed roadside cabinets since work began in July 2011.   

Chorus shares fell 0.9 percent to $3.40 and have climbed 9.9 percent this year.

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