Vodafone New Zealand, the company deploying the "last mile" wireless resources switched on the first wave of newly built cell sites under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).
The cellsite in Eureka, between Hamilton and Morrinsville, was officially switched on today by Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Amy Adams, and Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone. The first wave of RBI cellsites also includes sites at Puketaha, Hamilton; Kumeu and Waitakere in West Auckland; and Motueka in the Tasman Bay.
“We’re thrilled to be connecting five rural communities around New Zealand today,” says Stanners. “Access to high-speed broadband makes a significant difference to the lives of rural New Zealanders. For the Waikato, New Zealand’s premium dairying region, it will help drive improvements to productivity and business performance.”
Wireless Broadband will be installed by a Vodafone arranged technician, and installation fees will apply. In the unlikely event your installer determines you may not receive a good experience, the installation will not proceed and you will not be charged.
Construction will continue on a further five sites in Marton, Mystery Creek, Ashurst, Tauhoa and Bayleys Beach, with even more sites due to be completed by 30 June 2012 (the end of the first year of the scheme).
An additional cellsite is due to go live at Mystery Creek prior to the annual Field-Days in June, an event which sees a huge influx of people into the area every year.
Vodafone’s rural high-speed service, with urban comparable pricing, delivers wireless broadband via a high performance modem, adding a WiFi network into the home.
Phone calls can also be made through this service by plugging an existing landline phone directly into the modem, removing the need for a landline connection. Customers can port their existing landline number to this new service.
Under the five year RBI plan, Vodafone will upgrade 387 existing cell towers and build a further 154 new towers in rural areas. The government is funding the civil construction costs of these new sites which are designed to accommodate Vodafone equipment and that of other mobile and wireless operators.
Five new sites have been built so far, and an additional 38 have been upgraded, predominantly in the Canterbury, Rodney and Waikato districts. A further 31 upgraded sites will be completed by June 2012.