RBI ROLL OUT ENCOURAGING YET CELL COVERAGE INADEQUATE
Whilst, yesterday’s announcement by the Government about additional rural broadband and mobile coverage is good news for rural communities, we need more says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).
“It’s encouraging to read that the outcome of the tenders will take coverage to nearly 100% of population coverage however, rural communities need geographic coverage,” says National President, Fiona Gower.
“Currently approximately only 50% of New Zealand’s geography is covered and this is where our rural families live and work — they need better coverage.
“Our rural communities need better mobile coverage and rural broadband so that rural families and businesses can contact emergency services from anywhere on their properties, retain staff, take full advantage of technology in running farms, for social inclusion and education.
“Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) particularly rural-based providers are vital to ensuring internet to every rural premise and it is great that this is very nearly achieved.
“RWNZ understands that it is more expensive to increase cellphone coverage due to New Zealand’s geography, however, by involving all the WISPs with their local knowledge, territorial authorities who have a role in keeping sight lines clear and the Rural Connectivity Group, this can be achieved.
“Essentially, we applaud the Government and Crown Infrastructure Partners for the vital work connecting rural communities to the world wide web — let’s see progress in cellular coverage,” says Ms Gower.
For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524