$1b Provincial Growth Fund can be tapped for broadband: Curran

Communications Minister Clare Curran says the accelerated timetable comes at no cost to the Crown.

Work on the Rural Broadband Initiative II and Mobile Blackspot projects will be finished by the end of 2021, a year ahead of the target date, Communications Minister Clare Curran says.

The minister says areas still not covered by broadband at the end of RBI II will be able to apply for assistance from Shane Jones’ $1 billion Provincial Growth Fund.

The National Broadband Map, which includes an address checker, has been updated to include RBI II.

MBIE says 87% of the population should be covered for ultrafast broadband once the RBI II and UFB II rollouts are complete.

Ms Curran says the early wrap-up for RBI II will come at no extra cost to the Crown.

The previous government allocated $150m for RBI II and the Mobile Blackspot fund.

Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees won the RBI II contract with a joint bid under the banner of the Rural Connectivity Group.

2degrees did not immediately respond to NBR’s query but reps for Spark and Vodafone said there would be no extra costs involved with the accelerated RBI II/Mobile Blackspot timetable.


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We could use the fund to buy ice creams in summer. To stimulate the provincial ice cream producers and retailers.

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Let's just hold fire on that one until the minister's pending Ice Creams in Summer Review Panel makes its first recommendations.

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They will need sub-committees formed first.

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Anagram of the word ‘subcommittee’ is ‘commie buttes’. Pretty much sums it up.

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If they actually knew what they were doing it would be a fine thing. Still the industry with the worst customer service in the land. Not counting local government of course.

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Curran and Jones: The Dynamic Duo. There to ensure taxpayer money vanishes into the Black Hole.

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