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Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees have joined forces in an effort to deliver broadband and mobile services to twenty rural areas across New Zealand.

“Keeping Kiwis connected is a top priority for Vodafone, and we’re thrilled to be working alongside Spark, 2degrees and the Government to bring connectivity to rural New Zealand, which is the powerhouse of our economy,” said Vodafone New Zealand’s chief executive, Jason Paris.

He added, “For this sector to remain competitive they need fast broadband and mobile coverage- not just in offices, but on farms, in schools and on the roads. This once in a generation opportunity for all three mobile network operators to provide both competitive ultra-fast broadband and world class 4G mobile infrastructure will not only deliver the connectivity for rural New Zealand, but also the safety of Kiwis living in those remote areas.”

There are also plans to introduce this technology for connectivity to at least 500 more sites in rural New Zealand. They will be given access to high-speed wireless broadband as well as high quality mobile coverage.

Jolie Hodson, CEO of Spark, stated, “The connectivity is much needed to bridge the digital divide for rural communities and help the rural sector remain competitive. Bringing together the investment from Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees along with the Government’s RBI2 funding has been the key to providing service into more challenging and remote areas of New Zealand.”

Under the Rural Broadband Initiative 2 and the Mobile Black Spot fund, the government of New Zealand (through Crown Infrastructure Partner) has granted the RCG permission to become the infrastructure provider. The RCG project aims to deliver mobile and broadband coverage to around 38,000 rural households and businesses.

Paul Mathewson, CCO of Spark, said, “We’re proud as an industry to be able to collaborate and work together where it makes sense – and our RCG partnership with Spark and Vodafone is the perfect example.

“Connecting Kiwis with their loved ones or the people they do business with is at the heart of what drives us at 2degrees, and we’re thrilled that fast connectivity is going to reach the furthest and most remote corners of New Zealand.”