With the “Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill“, Government hopes to fund two programmes to deliver broadband to all New Zealanders, with a focus on fibre for schools.
The Rural Broadband Initiative has been awarded to Telecom and Vodafone. Telecom will supply fibre connections to around 750 schools, servicing 74,000 students, and will upgrade around 1000 ADSL cabinets along the way. Vodafone will improve cellular phone coverage, and broadband coverage in areas unreachable by ADSL.
The Ultra Fast Broadband initiative will develop a new fibre infrastructure in New Zealand’s 33 largest cities and towns, over which retail service providers will be able to purchase a wholesale broadband service. Around 1340 schools and 550,000 students should be covered by this new broadband service.
Based on documents released at the conclusion of negotiations for the RBI however, it is apparent that close to
500 470 schools, servicing 114,000 108,000 students, will get no fibre at all through the current process. The MED, in response to questions about these schools, states that they should be able to get access to ADSL2+, and that “A procurement process is likely to commence in 2012-13”. (Updated figures 2011-05-16)
The map below shows the unfunded schools in red – based on likely boundaries for UFB projects. It is possible that some schools in red will get UFB, but it also possible that the number of unconnected schools will grow as UFB boundaries are released. Green (when selected via the pull-down menu) markers indicate likely UFB funded schools, and turquoise markers indicate confirmed RBI funded schools.
[iframe http://www.telco2.co.nz/schoolmap.html 680px 790px]
The data for the above map was aggregated from a number of sources, including New Zealand’s Ministry of Education, Telecom NZ’s Chorus division, and the Ministry of Economic Development’s Broadband Map. Approximately 70% of the schools in the 2,500+ row data set had either missing or incorrect address or location data, and a great deal of manual manipulation of data was required to place locations. If a school is in the wrong place on the map, please send an email and it will be corrected.