Having reliable communications and broadband is a non-negotiable for many people in their personal and professional lives these days.

Be it for work or leisure, people feel entitled to have good mobile and broadband access. Living in a first world country might make that expectation even more profound, but one thing is sure - people feel it is their right.

Take for example the situation down Dannevirke way. Our Dannevirke News chief reporter Christine McKay wrote a good story in yesterday's Hawke's Bay Today about a local farmer, Kay McKenzie, who has had a fantastic response to her petition for a cellphone tower on Oporae Range east of the town. There is also a follow-up on today's Dannevirke News page.

It seems like frustration levels regarding the lack of cellphone coverage throughout the region is beginning to grow.


Pongaroa farmer and self-employed farm consultant Rachel Joblin sums it up when she says "the lack of cell coverage and broadband is stagnating rural businesses".

I don't think it is wrong for communities like this to expect better coverage in rural areas. The good news is that a lot is being done to change the situation.

On page six today we have a story that says Hawke's Bay rural broadband connection numbers have jumped by 162 per cent as the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative comes to an end.

Chorus upgraded 1200 broadband roadside cabinets across the country as part of the initiative, which wrapped up last week, improving the broadband access for an estimated 110,000 homes and businesses.

Hopefully we can get to a point fairly quickly where the majority of rural areas have reliable coverage.