The Government's "Remote Users Scheme" Explained

March 7th, 2023   |   Rural Broadband

Get Internet in Middle of Nowhere

For many of you living in rural, remote and isolated parts of Aotearoa it will not be news to you that Ultra-Fast Fibre has been placed in most large towns and cities across the country and those living there have access to speeds of up to 1000 Mbps for their browsing and streaming pleasure.  

It will also not be news to you that while those in Urban areas can get this Fibre product for as little as $50 per month with a free (or subsidised) installation, those in rural areas are still left to pay hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars to get their connection and then hundreds more a month for their service. 

What may be news to you however is that this is all about to change! 

The government is in the process of rolling out a new project called the Remote Users Scheme (RUS). It is stated that “The RUS is focused on increasing the availability of broadband connectivity in rural and remote New Zealand. Through the Remote Users Scheme, eligible households and communities in the most remote areas - where broadband is not currently available and there is only access to voice calling and text services - will be able to apply for support. The first phase of RUS aims to provide a broadband internet service to an area by extending existing networks. Those still without coverage after this has been done, may be eligible to receive a one-off grant of up to $2,000 towards set up and installation costs of a suitable broadband solution.” 

So, what does this actually mean and what do you need to do? 

This means that if you are in a part of the country that doesn’t currently have access to fibre or 4G services, you can register your details for the RUS here and you could receive a grant of up to $2000 to get satellite Internet installed at your home. 

Gravity has been supporting those in Rural NZ since 2017 in getting connected to a high-speed broadband option, so we welcome this development with open arms. One of the biggest barriers to entry for those living rurally is the initial setup cost, which this scheme will address. The other barrier is the high monthly cost of satellite internet There is a lot of talk about Starlink across the country at the moment but what is lost amongst this is the high monthly subscription of $159, which is still very much out of the reach of your average Kiwi family. Gravity continues to strive to make satellite internet accessible and affordable for ALL Kiwi and have plans that start from as little as $2 per day. 

As a proud supporter of all things Rural here in NZ, Gravity in passionate about connecting those who need it most. We are excited to be a part of this ground breaking scheme that will see connectivity brought to the widest reaches of our beautiful country. If you have any questions about the RUS or rural connectivity in general then please get in touch with one of our friendly Gravity Team Members on 0800 112 027 or  

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