Govt marks delivery of Rural Connectivity Group’s 350th tower

Waikato’s Te Ākau, which sits roughly 50 kilometres out of Hamilton is home to the new tower.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Wellington | Updated: 12-08-2022 11:48 IST | Created: 12-08-2022 11:48 IST
Govt marks delivery of Rural Connectivity Group’s 350th tower
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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  • New Zealand

The Government has marked another milestone in its push for better rural connectivity, welcoming the delivery of Rural Connectivity Group's (RCG) 350th tower.

Waikato's Te Ākau, which sits roughly 50 kilometres out of Hamilton is home to the new tower.

"The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the ever-increasing importance of connectivity. During the lockdowns, Kiwis were forced to re-think their approach to working, learning and socialising – by doing it all from our homes," Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark said.

"RCG's delivery of 350 towers is an amazing milestone in New Zealand's connectivity journey and I know the community and businesses in Te Ākau will benefit greatly.

"Rural connectivity helps farmers to modernise and streamline the way they work by enabling the use of agritech, it also allows for local businesses to offer mobile Eftpos payment options, online services and ensures residents can reach emergency services.

"Having our rural communities in a position to participate fully in the digital economy, is a much-needed push in the right direction as we go about securing an economic recovery for the country.

"Government is working towards having 99.8% of the population connected to improved broadband by the end of next year, and that's why we're investing in programmes such as the Rural Broadband Initiative, Marae Digital Connectivity programme and the Mobile Blackspot Fund.

"To date, 1,000 kilometres of State Highway and 86 tourism spots now have mobile coverage, more than 560 marae have been connected to broadband, and over 72,000 rural homes and businesses now have access to improved broadband.

"To continue the improvements in rural connectivity across Aotearoa, in July this year I also announced how $60 million funding will make a difference for a number of remote and rural areas, through the creation of a new Remote Users Scheme designed to target our most hard to reach households. Taken together with the $47 million in works for Rural Capacity Upgrades I announced in February, investments made through these programmes will make a massive difference in rural New Zealand.

"The Government has also funded improved and more resilient rural connectivity to the West Coast, Chatham Islands, through Haast Pass and between Te Anau and Milford Sound.

"I look forward to seeing Aotearoa's connectivity journey continue, as this Government remains committed to improving connectivity for New Zealanders," David Clark said.

(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)

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