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Continued investment required to connect rural NZ

Continued investment required to connect rural New Zealand to its future

11th May 2016

TUANZ is calling on the telecommunications industry and government to continue to increase investment in rural connectivity.

Following the 2016 Rural Connectivity Symposium, TUANZ CEO Craig Young said that government needs to be continually ambitious about their rural connectivity targets, and to collaborate with industry to address rural connectivity issues, especially mobile data coverage.

“Rural businesses and communities have the same connectivity wants and needs as their urban cousins, yet many rural areas lag behind because of poor connectivity. We need government and industry to step up and provide these communities with faster broadband much earlier than the 2025 goal set out by government”, said Young.

The symposium heard that improving connectivity in rural sectors is directly linked to the government’s goal of doubling the value of New Zealand’s exports by 2025. However, without improved connectivity, the primary industry will struggle to keep pace with its global competitors.

Improving rural connectivity is also essential for providing equity of healthcare across the country, as well as improving the liveability of rural communities.

“We want affordable and reliable mobile and internet coverage to be available across all of New Zealand. We all rely on the Internet for business, for health, and to stay connected to family and friends – if anything, this reliance is even higher in rural areas, and we need to aim higher in order to meet these needs”, said Young.

TUANZ has also released a brief report on the proceedings from the recent Symposium (please see attached).

Ends

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