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Digital New Zealand

New Zealand welcomes the completion of its 250th 4G mobile tower

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New Zealand welcomes its 250th 4G mobile tower as it finishes construction, bringing better digital connectivity to the country’s rural areas. 

Waikato’s Wiltsdown is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton and is now the home of the new mobile tower. 

The 4G tower was constructed by the Rural Connectivity Group to improve digital services to 70 homes and businesses in the surrounding area. 

The programme for the construction of the mobile towers across the country falls under the Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2 (RBI2), which has brought better digital connectivity for more than 62,000 rural households and businesses. 

“This Government is committed to ensuring that more rural communities enjoy the social and economic benefits of fast, reliable broadband connection,” Minister for Digital Economy and Communications David Clark said. 

Aside from building new infrastructure to deliver improved digital connectivity to rural areas, the New Zealand Government has also committed $10 million to open up a suitable radio spectrum for rural communities.

The $10 million commitment will vastly improve the broadband capacity and coverage in rural communities. Minister Clark said the 600MHz band is a lower frequency, thus making it better suited to 5G services in rural areas.

The New Zealand Government also remains committed to its 2020 Election Manifesto commitment to establish a $60 million fund for improving connectivity and backhaul services in the worst connected parts of the country. 

“We understand the need for, and want to see the delivery of, reliable fast internet connections to rural Aotearoa,” Minister Clark said.  

New Zealand’s demand for data and faster download speeds has grown rapidly in recent years. This created projects that will work on increasing the capacity and improve the performance of rural networks.

A $65 million investment is currently being placed towards programmes targeting rural connectivity. This includes capacity upgrades for the original Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI1).

Other rural connectivity improvements are being funded through the COVID-19 Response Fund. 

More than 836 kilometres of State Highway and 58 tourism sites have also been provided with mobile coverage under the Mobile Blackspot Fund programme. 

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