After what must have been a busy day in the office yesterday, Comms Minister Steven Joyce has this morning announced today that three of the five Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) proposals had been short-listed.
The three short-listed proposals come from Torotoro Waea, FX Networks/OpenGate and Telecom/Vodafone.
“The short-listed proposals demonstrate that they merit further evaluation based on an their plans to deliver the RBI objectives and provide open access to government-subsidised infrastructure,” said Joyce.
“I continue to be encouraged by the innovation and partnering that has already occurred in the process,” had added, probably referring to the last minute tag team formation of Telecom and Vodafone.
“This has led to some very innovative approaches to lowering deployment costs, extending fixed and wireless coverage, and getting the fibre back bone further into rural New Zealand. I expect to see this collaboration strengthening as the process moves forward into the negotiation stage later this month.”
Joyce also said that a number of bidders have publicly discussed elements of their proposals.
“I have been impressed by the level of planning that has been undertaken and their approach to cultural, social and economic development.”
Binding contracts are expected be signed in early 2011.