8 Dec 2010

Investors approve of Telecom broadband joint bid

1:20 pm on 8 December 2010

Shares in Telecom have risen after its joint bid with Vodafone to roll out high speed broadband infrastructure to rural areas made the Government's shortlist.

Their bid is one of three tenders to make the cut, along with a joint proposal from FX Networks and OpenGate, which is a venture between state-owned Kordia and Woosh Wireless, and another from Maori partnership Torotoro Waea.

The $300 million tender requires 93% of rural schools to be connected to fibre, and 80% of rural households to get at least 5 megabits per second.

Kordia chief executive Geoff Hunt says he's confident its proposal has a chance because the joint venture will be able to provide broadband that's twice as fast.

Torotoro plans to also link up 1000 maraes into the scheme.

Telecom is also bidding to roll out ultra-fast broadband across the rest of the country. The first two contracts for this programme were awarded to two energy companies. Telecom's shares rose 3 cents to $2.18 just after midday on Wednesday.

A bid by Regional Fibre Group, a consortium of lines companies, did not make the cut.

The Government will start negotiations with the shortlisted three later this month. Binding contracts are expected to be signed early next year.