The Rural Connectivity Group
In August 2017, the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) was appointed by the government to be the infrastructure provider to bring 4G wireless broadband, 4G voice calling (VoLTE) and 3G mobile service to rural New Zealand under the Rural Broadband Initiative 2 (RBI2) and the Mobile Black Spot fund (MBSF).
Under our contract with Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP), we will build over 500 cell sites delivering 4G wireless broadband and 4G voice calling to rural New Zealand via our brand-new cellular network. The RBI2 and MBSF programmes of work will be completed by December 2023 with RCG’s target to cover at least 30,000 rural homes and businesses, 1000 kms of rural state highways and coverage at 100 tourist hotspots.
RCG is an independent entity established to acquire site locations, build, operate and maintain the new 4G wireless network across rural New Zealand.
This critical infrastructure project is funded by the government’s Telecommunications Development Levy, and an additional $75M has been provided by New Zealand’s three Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) Spark, Vodafone and 2degree’s with CIP managing the distribution of funds to RCG.
As a world first this unique funding model is the only way these modern digital services can be delivered further into isolated and rural parts of New Zealand. All three service providers will share the radio access network (RAN) equipment and one set of antennae on each facility we build.
Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees will deliver services through the new RCG network.
RCG is proud to be partnering with Crown Infrastructure Partners and our MNO shareholders. Our shared goal is to maximise the use of the available funding and deliver the best possible outcome for rural New Zealanders.