MEDIA RELEASE - Vodafone's average rural broadband customer chews through 13GB of data per month.Average data usage by Vodafone's rural customers has increased by 50% in the last 12 months.
To meet the increasing data demand by users in RBI areas, Vodafone has today doubled the monthly data allowance on its Rural Wireless Broadband plans – at no additional cost – in preparation for a hyper-connected rural future.
From today, all new and existing customers on Rural Wireless Broadband 4 plans will see an increase in their monthly data from 15GB to 30GB per month, without needing to do anything.
In addition to doubling data allowances, Vodafone will introduce a faster 42Mbps high performance wireless broadband modem for new rural broadband customers this month. The new modem is capable of typical download speeds between 16-20Mbps via Vodafone's Dual Carrier 3G network.
Vodafone Consumer Director, Matt Williams, says the changes allow its rural customers to access more of the online content and services they need.
"Customers have told us the significant difference access to high-speed broadband makes to their everyday lives, so the availability of the faster modem, and increased data will be extremely beneficial.
"Basic online activities like web browsing, streaming content, and online shopping – things that are taken for granted in urban areas– are far more accessible.
"Independent speed tests completed in June 2014 by Epitiro show rural users are getting average speeds of 8Mbps with the current modem – greater than many people with ADSL connections in urban areas – so we’re confident the enhanced modem will be well received."
Matt adds: "Data usage by rural dwellers is increasing too – whether it’s the teenagers downloading their friends’ videos from Facebook, kids uploading homework to the cloud, or the farm manager uploading data to a farm management system – so we wanted to ensure customers can do more of what the want and need to do online – without worry."
Waipukurau farmer, Gus Smith, says signing up to Vodafone’s Wireless Broadband brought their home into the 21st century.
"Before RBI, watching TV on demand was impossible – our connection was unreliable, and streaming content chewed through our small monthly data cap which we needed for farming business. We just weren’t able to enjoy the internet like everyone else. Now we do.
“Wireless broadband can easily handle connecting multiple devices too, so when the grandkids come to stay at Christmas and want to connect and use their iPads and smartphones just like they do at home, they can.”
Under the Government’s five-year Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), Vodafone is helping bridge the digital divide by funding the upgrade of 387 existing cell towers and building a further 154 new towers in rural areas across New Zealand.
Vodafone’s network upgrades under the RBI have already made wireless broadband available to over 195,000 rural addresses around New Zealand. The Vodafone network reaches 97.5 per cent of where Kiwis live, work and play.