The government’s announcement that they’re investing in rural digital infrastructure is a step in the right direction says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).
“Rural communities have been suffering from non-existent, inconsistent and low-speed digital connectivity for too long, so upgrading existing and building new infrastructure, is welcome,” says Technology spokesperson and Board Member Claire Williamson.
“RWNZ welcomes the investment and is looking forward to seeing the detail to be sure that all rural communities will benefit.
“Our concern is that while investing in upgrades is much needed, so is ensuring that every rural family has access to high quality, consistent connectivity.
“Both cellular coverage and internet connectivity is needed by rural families so that they can transact their daily lives, access education opportunities, run businesses and stay connected with each other.
“Being able to connect with family and community members on a regular basis digitally is becoming the norm and important for mental health and wellbeing, with reliable connection being vital in emergency situations.
“Rural communities should not be worse off than their urban counterparts and it is time now to think about how to ensure every rural family has access to good internet and cellular coverage.
“We look forward to equity in digital connectivity for rural communities,” says Ms Williamson.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact: Angela McLeod on 027 497 2761.
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