The tiny town of Haast will have mobile phone coverage by the end of May after a huge push by the community.
Sections of State Highway 6 will have cell service by the end of the year.
Previously, a commitment was made to bring in reception by 2022 - but four years was too long to wait for the locals dealing with car crash carnage and no ability to call 111.
A Herald investigation earlier this year found St John and police staff struggling to get to critically injured people in time.
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran announced the accelerated, initial solutions to the area's connectivity crisis during a visit today.
Around 50 of the 240 local residents turned up. The usually stoic bunch erupted into applause when they heard the news.
St John volunteer Blair Farmer called the announcement "bloody awesome" for the town. He said it was way beyond what they thought they would get and they appreciated a visit from the minister.
"This is a game changer for the residents, emergency services and the travelling public. You can't wish for more."
Haast constable Paul Gurney said the cellphone reception would speed up reaction times for St John, fire and police.
"The phone the police gave me I'll actually be able to use it."
Curran had heard the community's concerns about public safety issues caused by no mobile service and seen the impact a lack of mobile connectivity can have in an isolated community which has a lot of tourism.
"By the end of May a 3G cell tower will be built and operational covering the township and State Highway 6 north and east of Haast for around 3km. Residents and visitors will be able to text and make phone calls on three mobile networks – Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees."
Haast sits in the middle of a 244km reception black spot that runs from Fox Glacier to Lake Hawea on the West Coast.
It means a drive of three hours straight without getting reception and help isn't easy to access in the remote area.
Between six and eight small roadside mobile sites will be placed along sections of SH6 between Fox Glacier and Lake Hawea by the end of the year.
These initial solutions are aimed at improving safety and co-ordination and don't include broadband coverage. The permanent solution for Haast and the West Coast will be based on 4G mobile technology with good broadband speeds and be in place before the end of 2022.
Curran called the plan "challenging" due to the difficulty in finding suitable sites for towers in remote country. The locations needed to have coverage, power and connections back to the core telecommunications network.
The minister said they were focusing on the areas of the greatest need first and Haast suffers from a "near-complete dearth of connectivity".
"If other regions organise themselves and bring part of a community solution to the table, such as land for the cell towers, then I will listen to their cases.
"But I would note that there are extenuating circumstances in the Haast case. The Haast mobile black spot is one of the longest in the country and includes one of the New Zealand's most precarious state highways."
The likely order in which rural communities will receive greater mobile coverage under the Mobile Black Spot Fund will be released soon.
Coverage in a nutshell
The tower will provide coverage on State Highway 6 north and east of Haast for around 3km.
The new tower should be operational by the end of May.
That solution will provide "islands" of coverage on State Highway 6 which will enable people to dial emergency services.
The new tower will be based on 3G mobile cellular technology which will provide voice calling and text messaging capability. The permanent 4G solution will be in place by 2022.
The tower will provide limited data that will be suitable for light web browsing, but which will not support streaming because the tower will be using satellite backhaul.
Officials will discuss with NZTA to explore whether signs can be installed on to SH6 to notify motorists about the areas with mobile coverage on the highway.
The Rural Connectivity Group (a joint venture comprised of 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone) has received a contract for approximately $150 million. In addition, there is commercially-funded expansion by some of the mobile network operators to provide coverage themselves, with no funding from the Government.