Rural Broadband Initiative completed in Waikato

10 Jun 2016, 1:58 PM

Chorus has today announced the company has completed its work under the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) in Waikato, bringing better broadband to thousands of households and businesses.

As a result of the work in Waikato, 186 cabinets have been upgraded, resulting in faster broadband for more than 17,940 households and businesses.

“There is no question that access to better broadband makes a significant difference to the lives of rural New Zealanders, and the RBI initiative shows how passionate Chorus is about improving rural connectivity,” said Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe.

“There are changing consumer needs when it comes to broadband, both for households and businesses and the RBI has been an integral part of meeting this change in Waikato.

“People have higher expectations of broadband performance as our usage behaviour changes and the internet becomes important to every aspect of life.

“Typically, homes now have several connected devices at any one time, so we are all using far more data and many of us are demanding faster and more reliable broadband speeds to stream or download high definition TV and video.

“The impact of the RBI on rural business has also started to gain a momentum, with the availability of faster broadband meaning the emergence of new businesses which could never have been contemplated just a few years ago.”

Before the cabinet upgrades, residents and businesses covered by the RBI programme in Waikato could generally only access broadband speeds of between 1 and 5Mbps. However, during peak times, those speeds would likely slow considerably.

Following the upgrades, most residents and businesses should now be able to experience speeds of between 10 and 20Mbps, depending on the distance to the broadband cabinet.

Residents who live within about 1km of their cabinet should be able to access a VDSL broadband service with speeds in excess of 50 Mbps. This is the fastest service over Chorus’ existing copper network.

More importantly, the upgraded infrastructure means better quality broadband. For example, during peak times when lots of people are streaming online video, broadband speeds will remain more consistent.

In total, Chorus’ RBI work across New Zealand has resulted in more than 1200 cabinets being upgraded across New Zealand, meaning about 110,000 households and businesses now have faster broadband available.

In addition, more than 1000 rural schools and 39 health providers can also access fibre.

Consumers can check if they are on the fastest available broadband speed by going to and entering their address in the address finder.

The results will provide the current broadband speed, but more importantly, what broadband speed could be achieved, and how to upgrade.