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RHĀNZ welcomes Government’s new rural connectivity target

RHĀNZ welcomes Government’s new rural connectivity target

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHĀNZ) welcomes the new rural connectivity target announced by the Government today.

The target means nearly all rural New Zealanders will be able to access broadband speeds of at least 50Mbps by 2025.

RHĀNZ Chairperson, Dr Jo Scott-Jones, says securing reliable and affordable telecommunications services is critical to the health and wellbeing of rural communities and is a top priority for all 40 RHĀNZ members.

“As part of our RBI phase 2 submission to Government earlier this year, we called for more ambitious targets for rural broadband speeds, so it is really pleasing to hear Minister Adams’s announcement today,” he says.

RHĀNZ Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson, says good connectivity opens the doors to a whole range of new health technologies, which in turn improves access to health services and helps with the retention and recruitment of health professionals.

“It is also an important component of health and safety plans for rural workers and business owners,” she says.

“While this new target is a significant improvement on the current target of 5Mbps, the world in which we are operating is moving so rapidly it will require continual monitoring to ensure rural communities can fully participate in the 21st century,” Dr Scott-Jones says.

“Fixing the ‘digital divide’ is critically important to the health and wellbeing of rural communities and imperative to growing New Zealand's prosperity.”

A copy of our RBI phase 2 and mobile blackspots submission can be found on our website here: http://www.rhaanz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/RHAANZ-RBI2-Mobile-Blackspot-Submission-Final.pdf

ENDS

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