Lightwire to bring first-time connectivity to the most remote rural homes across the Waikato / Bay of Plenty with RBI2 expansion

  • Lightwire awarded funding in the expansion round of Rural Broadband Initiative – Phase 2 (RBI2) roll out
  • 278 of the hardest to reach rural homes and businesses will receive broadband connectivity for the first time

Lightwire is thrilled to expand its network to bring broadband connectivity to some of the most remote homes throughout the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, as Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) awards the Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) extra funding towards the expansion of the current RBI2 programme.

As the regions’ largest WISP, Lightwire has partnered with CIP since 2018 and is pleased with the latest opportunity to continue connecting its rural communities.

“We are hugely excited to be awarded this funding. It means providing coverage to 278 of some of the most remote and hard to reach homes and businesses in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty districts, who have until now had no or next to no broadband internet connection options due to their remoteness,” says Mike Cook, Head of Rural at Lightwire.

The increase in network infrastructure will enable hundreds of people to utilise and benefit from this connectivity – many for the first time.

“Overlooking rural, remote New Zealand is no longer an option when it comes to the importance of internet connectivity, and the fact that access to reliable broadband is a minimum requirement in farm and rural business management and growth is being recognised and actively addressed,” says Cook.

“It is our job to enhance and increase the necessary network to improve wireless broadband coverage throughout the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, so every rural household can eventually look forward to connectivity.

“Securing this next round of the RBI2 funding, speaks to our company’s commitment over the past 18 months to exceed delivery expectations at every turn.

“Not only have we delivered on every milestone for CIP, but Lightwire has used this project to enhance our own model and processes. Continuous improvements across our business are making us challenge the norm, and it’s extremely satisfying to see the change.

“This project saw the wider company contributing at every step and Lightwire’s success is shared by all.” 

As CIP’s Waikato and Bay of Plenty key partner, Lightwire spent 2019 building new towers and upgrading existing ones to help close the digital divide.

2019 statistics:

  • 72 sites upgraded
  • 1099 new installs
  • 3610 man hours
  • 0 injuries