The New Zealand government has approved a NZD150 million (USD102 million) extension to its rural broadband initiative (RBI) programme to improve connectivity in internet blackspots. The new phase of the RBI scheme will bring fixed internet infrastructure to more rural locations and will also look to improve mobile internet coverage. A tender has been opened to find a telco to carry out the deployments, with the first contracts expected to be awarded in mid-2017. The government is looking to cover 99% of the population with 50Mbps minimum broadband speeds by 2020, with the remaining 1% to have access to speeds of at least 10Mbps.
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