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Rural Broadband and mobile coverage brought to Maheno

28 August 2013

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Vodafone brings Rural Broadband and mobile coverage to Maheno

Mobile coverage and broadband options just got better for residents and visitors to the Maheno area of Waitaki District, as Vodafone lights up its newly built cell site under the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI). Vodafone is the first telecommunications company to bring rural broadband to Maheno.

A 25 metre monopole tower provides service to over 434 households in the Maheno. 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 Maheno, another tower is planned to be built at Weston in the Waitaki District over next three years. Jointly these will provide new mobile coverage and wireless broadband for over 1100 homes and businesses. Vodafone will also be upgrading five more of its existing six sites around Waitaki to deliver the wireless broadband service to rural residents. The Vodafone site at Oamaru has already been upgraded.

Vodafone’s Regional Business Development Manager Jeremy Begg 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 4,500km of rural New Zealand roads, which until now have been without.

“This is a massive benefit for farming districts like Waitaki, in dealing with emergencies, transport logistics, road safety and other real life circumstances that have been hampered by limited coverage,” said Begg.

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. 53 new sites have been built so far, and an additional 166 have been upgraded meaning new services for over 110,000 addresses in rural New Zealand.

Vodafone SuperNet™ is the superior network for landline, mobile, TV and broadband.

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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