​What is RBI2?​

RBI2 targets rural end users who have access to terrestrial broadband services (fixed line or wireless) of less than 20 Mbps maximum speed in any region in New Zealand. Unifone has contracted with Crown Fibre Holdings to provide internet services to eligible end users in parts of Otago.

​How does it differ from RBI1?​

The objective of the first phase of the RBI was to deliver faster broadband to priority users and communities outside of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) areas.


Around 300,000 New Zealand households and businesses will have improved broadband thanks to RBI. Rural hospitals and integrated family centres are able to access peak speeds of 100Mbps under the RBI.


All New Zealand state and state-integrated schools are able to connect under UFB or RBI, or the Remote Schools Broadband Initiative. Before the project began in 2011, only one in five rural homes and businesses had access to peak broadband speeds of at least 5Mbps.


By June 2017, 90 per cent of those outside of UFB areas will have access to the original target of at least 5Mbps, and most are in fact operating speeds well in excess of this.

– Hon Amy Adams, Minister of Communications


RBI2 targets the users not covered by RBI1. Unifone has contracted with Crown Fibre Holdings to provide service to eligible end users in parts of Otago.


The government has set a higher standard for service under RBI2 than under RBI1. For instance, Unifone has to make all our wireless broadband plans available from all RBI2 funded repeaters as soon as they are brought into service. This includes our plans that run at 25Mb/s downstream and higher. This is not actually different to any other repeater network we build so customers in the most remote part of our network can access the same range of connection plans for the same price as a customer in Dunedin city.

​What services will become available when the network is built?​

Unifone’s RBI2 network will share the rest of our network’s ability to be multipurpose. We already have customers using our network for a variety of different applications other than conventional internet services such as inter-site linking and Wide area networks. Unifone has its own telephone exchange which customers on our RBI2 network will be able to utilise if they want to bring their phone connection to us. The phone service will utilise the same radio connection as the internet service.

​Can I stay with my current provider but connect to Unifone’s network?​

Although there is no compulsion under our agreement with Crown Fibre Holdings to do so, our existing network is fully capable of providing “last mile” services to other internet providers. Our RBI2 network will be built in the same way. We already carry services for another Otago provider but we welcome contact from any regional or national provider who wants to negotiate access.

​How were the coverage areas allocated and where are they?​

The eligible end users were identified by Crown Fibre holdings as those customers who couldn’t access broadband services (such as fixed wireless, fibre or DSL) at a speed of more than 20Mb/s. Unifone submitted a proposal to cover coastal and inland Otago end users by enhancing our existing network and extending it into areas we previously didn’t cover.

​How is the service delivered?​

The service is delivered from a network of solar and mains powered radio repeaters. We will install a radio device on an exterior wall or the roof at the customer’s premises which will link to one of the repeaters. It is usual practice to cable this external radio to an internal wireless router to allow connection of the customers internet devices.

​How is Unifone going to benefit customers needing large data caps?​

All internet plans on the RBI2 network and Unifone’s existing wireless network are uncapped. Yes, that means affordable, reliable, uncapped internet available to rural customers throughout Otago and Southland.

​How fast do the connections run?​

All Unifone’s wireless internet plans will be available on the RBI2 network. There is a speed available for just about every situation.

View our Personal WiFi plans here or View our Business WiFi plans here

​How do I sign up to an internet plan with Unifone?​
​What are the installation costs?​

From $99 for Personal Plans, and from $149 for Business Plans

Give Unifone a call today to talk about what we can do for you, whether it’s rural internet, home internet and phone plans or business internet solutions.

0800 894 114
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