Good news for Lake Okareka and Tarawera residents with a new communication tower for the area.

Vodafone has switched on a new site at Lake Okareka providing improved mobile coverage and high-speed rural wireless broadband to its customers.

The Lake Okareka cell site is one of three new towers for the Rotorua district under the Rural Broadband Initiative - which Vodafone delivers in partnership with the Government and Chorus.

Its aim is to bring faster, more reliable wireless broadband and mobile coverage to Kiwis living in rura areas of New Zealand.


The site will radically transform the area's access to communication services, with over 700 addresses benefiting from greater connectivity over Vodafone's 4G network.

Vodafone's Technology Director, Tony Baird, said connectivity and access to high-speed broadband has become a critical tool for Kiwis in rural areas.

"We're continually investing so our rural customers gain access to the same benefits as those living in urban areas, and have done so since the Rural Broadband Initiative began. Our focus is to ensure rural Kiwis can stay reliably connected."

In addition to the new cell site, the Rotorua district has received five RBI upgrades, providing high speed wireless broadband to over 2,300 addresses at Okere Falls, Rainbow Mountain, Lake Rotoiti, Ngongotaha and at Rotorua Airport.

Communications Minister Amy Adams said that she was thrilled that thanks to the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative, Lake Okareka now had access to faster broadband and the economic and social benefits that this would bring.

Key statistics:
- Almost 75 per cent of Kiwis living rurally now have access to wireless broadband connections capable of delivering speeds on par with - or faster than - those experienced in urban centres.

Related articles:

-Rural New Zealand has seen significant RBI and mobile data growth, with a 270 per cent increase from 2013 to 2015.