INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rural Broadband and mobile coverage arrives at Feilding

Published: Thu 8 Aug 2013 10:55 AM
8 August 2013
Rural Broadband and mobile coverage arrives at Feilding
Mobile coverage and broadband options just got better for residents and visitors to Feilding East, as Vodafone has lit up its newly built cell site under the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).
A 30 metre lattice tower provides service to an estimated 750 households in the Feilding East area.  The service delivers not only mobile coverage, but 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.
Along with the new RBI site in Feilding East, another new tower is planned to be built at Himatangi Beach in the Manawatu District over the next 12 months.  New sites at Bunnythorpe, Kimbolton, Sanson and Apiti have already been built. Jointly these will provide new mobile coverage and wireless broadband for over 3500 homes and businesses. Vodafone will also be upgrading four more of its existing five sites around Manawatu to deliver the wireless broadband service to rural residents. One site at Takahe has already been upgraded.
Vodafone’s Manawatu Business Development Manager Simon Bailey says the new cell sites bring greater options to the community, with households and businesses now having choice in broadband service.
“Switching to wireless broadband can provide a consistent and reliable service to residents.  It also offers the rural farming community the opportunity to increase production and monitoring through machine-to-machine automation.”
An additional benefit of RBI for rural communities is the extension of mobile coverage to include an estimated 4,500km of rural New Zealand roads, which until now have been without.
“This is a massive benefit for farming districts like Manawatu, in dealing with emergencies, transport logistics, road safety and other real life circumstances that have been hampered by limited coverage,” said Bailey.
Under the five year RBI plan, Vodafone will upgrade 387 existing cell towers and build a further 154 new towers in rural areas all over New Zealand.  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.  47 new sites have been built so far, and an additional 161 have been upgraded meaning new services for over 110,000 addresses in rural New Zealand.
Customers can find out if this service will be available at their address by checking online at
www.vodafone.co.nz/rural-broadband.
ENDS

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