16mar rural broadband hero2
Research report
9 March 2016

Rural broadband

The Rural Broadband Initiative will get you closer to the world.

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11 Feb 2018
4g RBI great for us, West BOP

We have been on the Spark 4g RBI wireless for two years now, we were at the end of a congested rural ADSL line with speeds dropping to dialup. Since moving to 4g our speeds are quite stable at around 20Mbps at about 11kms away from cell site, working well & happy.

28 Nov 2020

It's been another couple of years and many have joined the 4g cell sites, leading to some congestion and slow down of speed especially at peak times, and for us at the outer limits of cell site range the Broadband was getting VERY slow. But having spent a good few $$'s on an good, high, roof top antenna speeds have come right back up to some VERY good speeds.

Hayden M
21 Nov 2016
Incorrect Hyperlink

Consumer NZ.

The Spark Link in the paragraph below takes you to the Spark Mobile site, nothing to do with RBI. A small oversight, perhaps you can correct?

"Vodafone and Spark have interactive maps online showing whether you’re able to get RBI wireless broadband coverage."

Previous member
22 Nov 2016
Re: Incorrect Hyperlink

Hi Hayden,

The Spark website shows where different wireless broadband services are available around the country. These may be suitable for homes that either can’t get fixed-line broadband or the fixed-line is so slow that a wireless option is preferable.

Kind regards,
Fonda - Consumer NZ staff

Hamish W.
22 Jun 2016
The RBI is a joke in the Wairarapa

Vodafone took the money and upgraded their existing 3G coverage to 4G. They told us we'd NEVER get mobile broadband where we are - 30km by road from Masterton and just 15km from the local school which has fibre-UFB available.

Last year, we were told we had to have a smart meter (yes, we knew we didn't actually have to have it but we figured maybe - one day and all that) and now it's sitting on the wall trying desperately to find vodafone. The meter reader just laughs!

You should have mentioned Wiz Wireless who cover much of the real rural Wairarapa. We're about to sign up as there is a new wireless mast in our area. Speeds seem to be between ADSL+2 and VDSL, but we shall see. Still beats the 512kbs of satellite.

We agree with the comments on satellite speeds and cost - but at least we have internet. Big ups to Wireless Nation for their satellite service. farmside were hopeless to deal with.

Our phone lines are so flaky that dial-up no longer works on even basic things like email.

Previous member
19 Mar 2016
Farm Side

I know a few people that have hooked up to farmside. Positive side is they are better than dial up, down side is they got huge unexpected bills. Can work out very expensive. One paid for repeaters solar panels etc to get wireless in. Shared the cost between neighbours. Now very happy.

mike e.
09 May 2016
Other rural options.

We live in rural south west Auckland (Franklin) and we looked at Farmside but we found their costs to be extremely high, we went with Compass Wireless and now pay $70 for 100gigs which is about what Farmside was offering for 5gigs a few years ago.

Mark E.
15 Mar 2016
National Broadband Map - don't rely on it

According to the map we get >5MBs download. What this means is that the wire from our house to the cabinet is capable of that. This is true. What it does not show is that 58 properties share 3 x 2MB/s copper lines from the cabinet to the exchange 5km away. In reality we get 144kbs on good days and nothing on Thursday evenings. This has been reported to the authorities who shrug it off.

Gary A.
12 Jun 2016
Rural Broadband initiative was a non-event.

Nothing changed in our rural area of the BOP. It is only called broadband so the providers can charge more. Like Mark E our data rate is pretty near non-existent after school until very late at night. The rest of the time the data rate may peak at around 230 - 450kbps but it is usually only spiking to that, not constant. Video streaming is a townie thing and a rural joke. Our local cabinet was due for upgrading last June (2015) according to the Chorus/Vodafone map but if it happened at all, then it was a waste of time as there is no evidence that it had any effect. The alternatives are too costly to consider.