The following e-mail was received by a member regarding broadband in the area. Members need to lobby the Government & MBIE for inclusion in the ground based Rural Broadband Initiative. It may be possible to access “transit fibre cable” with a local fibre cable, using the ducts already in place; this  should be a relatively cheap solution which can be included as a priority in the second phase of the RBI.

In the meantime there is wireless broadband provided by Vodaphone. Often areas that appear to be out of the reception area will receive reception. The Vodaphone shop in Blenheim will lend residents a modem/router to see if reception is strong enough, on payment of a returnable $50 deposit. This often shows that the wireless broadband is available.

E_mail received:

From: Renee Duffell [mailto:renee.duffell@mbie.govt.nzOn Behalf Of Broadband
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:07 PM
Subject: RE: Broadband availability Port Underwood. Marlborough [UNCLASSIFIED]


Thank you for your email regarding broadband availability in the Port Underwood area. I apologise for the delayed response.

I note your comments that you have been advised by retail service providers (RSPs) that Port Underwood is the responsibility of Vodafone under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) and that RSPs are only authorised to provide Vodafone RBI services. There seems to have been some miscommunication, as this is not the case. RSPs should be able to re-sell any wholesale internet services available for connection at an address, regardless of whether or not Vodafone’s RBI services are available.

I would encourage residents of Port Underwood to visit the National Broadband Map online at to determine the best available service at their specific address. I note that a variety of services are available in Port Underwood depending on a person’s location. Residents may be able to access fixed-wireless broadband on the Vodafone network under the RBI (further details provided below), fixed-wireless broadband on the Spark network, or fixed-line ADSL and VDSL broadband services on Chorus’ copper network.

While Chorus does own fibre cable which runs through Port Underwood, this appears to be a transit fibre cable which is not typically available for customer connection. Fibre-to-the-premises services are not available in Port Underwood under the first phase of the Ultra-Fast Broadband programme. The significant cost of reaching the remaining areas of the country meant the Government had to prioritise.

However, the first phase of the RBI programme has delivered improved fixed-line copper broadband to Port Underwood. I would encourage you to talk to RSPs which offer these services, particularly if, as you note, not all residents of Port Underwood may be within coverage of a Vodafone signal.

As you are aware, the first phase of the RBI programme has also delivered fixed-wireless broadband services to many residents in Port Underwood. This fixed-wireless service is managed by Vodafone at a wholesale level and is based on either third generation or fourth generation (3G or 4G) technology, with progressive upgrades to 4G planned over time.

Residents can check their specific address for coverage on Vodafone’s website at: To view the RSPs that can provide RBI services a list is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website at If residents would like to look into the fixed-wireless broadband service provided by Spark, they can check their specific addresses for coverage on Spark’s website

Kind regards

Renee Duffell on behalf of

Broadband Inbox Correspondence

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment