Broadband tower online

The launch of the first phase of Vodafone's commitment to providing highspeed internet under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) began on the property of Waikato farmer Mark Singh's land near the township of Eureka on February 21.

Vodafone has embarked on a project of upgrading 387 cell towers and building a further 154 new towers in rural areas toward the RBI.

February 21 marked the opening of several cellsites around the country; the Eureka site and Puketaha near Hamilton, Kumeu and Waitakere in West Auckland and Motueka in Tasman Bay.

Joining Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners was Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Amy Adams, and Federated Farmers chief executive, Conor English.

"Rural broadband is central to New Zealand's future," Mr English said.

"Not only is it the vital infrastructure to enable the next lift in farming productivity, but it will help close the digital divide.

"Five words matter here; rural people are people too."

Work is already underway on another five sites in Marton, Mystery Creek, Ashurst, Tauhoa and Bayleys Beach.

- Hamilton News

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