Milestone 300th tower goes live in Coromandel

Digital Economy and Communications

The Government’s push for better rural connectivity has hit another milestone with the Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) 300th 4G cell tower going live.

The RCG site is located on farmland beside the busy Tairua Whitianga Road and provides 4G wireless broadband and 4G mobile services from Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees to over 95 households in the Coroglen area.

“This Government is committed to ensuring rural communities can reap the social and economic benefits of fast, reliable broadband and mobile services,” David Clark said.   

Coroglen’s tower takes the total number of new mobile sites in the Waikato Region to 27, with another 30 sites planned in the region by the end of the programme in December 2023.

Across the wider Waikato region, including Thames Coromandel, RCG sites connect over 2,700 homes and businesses, 50km of local State Highway and 5 tourism areas with high-speed 4G wireless broadband and quality mobile coverage.

The Government also has a number of other partners delivering rural broadband under the same scheme, meaning all up a total of 7,625 homes and businesses in the Waikato region will receive broadband coverage.

“The positive outcomes stemming from the Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2 and Mobile Black Spot Fund programmes are something Government is immensely proud of.

“Rural connectivity helps farmers modernise and streamline the way they work, it enables local businesses to offer mobile Eftpos payment options and other online services, and it gives peace of mind that emergency services are just a mobile call away.

“Not to mention the positive effect it has on people needing to work or learn from home.

“In addition to rural broadband, the Crown funded Mobile Black Spot Fund programme has delivered mobile coverage to 902 kilometres of State Highway and 72 tourism sites. In these cases there was previously no mobile coverage at all, and now coverage is available for customers of all three mobile broadband operators.

“We’ve also delivered Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) to 85 percent of Kiwis. Under the Marae Digital Connectivity programme we have connected including 516 marae to broadband and provided essential hardware,” David Clark said.

Notes to editors:

The new RCG sites are the result of an industry leading collaboration between the three mobile network operators and Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to build over 500 cell sites across rural New Zealand delivering essential broadband and mobile services.

The RCG is a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees, and has been contracted by CIP to deliver the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2 (RBI2) and Mobile Black Spots Fund (MBSF) programmes.  The RCG is responsible for building, operating, and maintaining this essential rural network infrastructure.

In addition to the RCG, CIP has contracted with 17 other partners to deliver rural broadband coverage under the RBI2. These partners are all wireless internet service providers (WISPs), who provide wireless rural broadband to remote and rural areas. The WISPs CIP has contracted with are:

  • Amuri.net
  • AoNet
  • Evolution
  • Gisborne.net
  • Inspire
  • Kiwi Wifi
  • Lightwire
  • NZ Technology Group
  • Primo
  • Strata Net
  • The Pacific.net
  • Ultimate Broadband
  • Unifone
  • Velocity Net
  • Wifi Connect
  • Wiz Wireless
  • Zelan