Thursday, July 18, 2024

Major rural connectivity milestone reached

The Government has claimed another major milestone in improved connectivity for rural and remote households and businesses, with 400 mobile towers now delivered by the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG), Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, Ginny Andersen said today.

“In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, we know how crucial it is to have access to reliable mobile and internet services,” Minister Andersen said.

“This is why the Government remains committed to ensuring that more rural homes, businesses and communities can access fast, reliable broadband connectivity regardless of where they live, study, and work.

“These towers, funded by the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative, provide essential broadband and mobile coverage to more rural and remote communities across New Zealand.”

She said the Government had invested in a range of programmes to improve connectivity across New Zealand.

As of December 2022, the connectivity programmes have delivered:

  • Nearly 1,211 km of State Highway have gained mobile coverage;
  • 114 tourism spots have mobile coverage;
  • More than 600 marae have been connected to broadband;
  • Around 80,000 rural homes and businesses now have access to improved broadband.

The Government has now allocated more than $100 million to improving the capacity of rural broadband across New Zealand. This work will be completed within the next three years and will benefit around 69,000 households and businesses, Minister Andersen said.

In addition to the RCG, Government has also partnered with 15 Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) across the country to deliver rural broadband coverage under the Rural Broadband Initiative. These partners provide wireless rural broadband to remote and rural areas.

“The ongoing success of RCG and other Government and industry investment is creating a strong foundation for New Zealand’s connectivity,” Ms Andersen said.

“I commend the RCG for the work they have done to date to ensure New Zealand continues to be well connected.”

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