Communications Minister Amy Adams has announced more than 200 of Vodafone’s Rural Broadband Initiative towers have been upgrade to 4G, giving access to faster internet speed to more of New Zealand’s rural households and businesses.
“This means more than 100,000 rural families and businesses now have access to fibre-like speeds, with some experiencing speeds of 100Mbps,” explains Adams.
“By this time next year, around 290,000 households and businesses will have access to high-speed wireless broadband under the Rural Broadband Initiative,” she says.
“With the 4G upgrade programme for 2016, we’re expecting many of them to benefit from the fastest speeds available,” Adams says.
The towers are built by Vodafone as part of its contract with the Government to allow more rural communities nationwide to have faster wireless broadband. According to Adams, it represents a major step in the initiative to get rural communities connected.
“Mobile data usage in rural New Zealand is soaring, with growth on just one network sitting around 270% between 2013 and 2015,” Adams explains.
Over that same period, the agribusiness sector benefitted from improved productivity and efficiencies as a result of improved rural mobile coverage, with a 106% increase in the number of connected devices from 2013 to 2015.
“There’s little doubt that our RBI programme is delivering massive value for those living in our rural and farming communities,” says Adams.
“Building on this success, we’re now looking ahead to rolling out more coverage through the next phase of RBI which sits alongside our bold new target of virtually every New Zealander receiving speeds of at least 50Mbps by 2025, regardless of where they work or live.”