The announcement of a big push to upgrade capacity on congested rural broadband networks gets a big thumbs up from Federated Farmers.
“Every year Feds surveys members on broadband and cellphone coverage in rural areas, to gather data on the worst blackspots and inform our advocacy to government,” Federated Farmers NZ President and telecommunications spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.
“The frustration of farming families whose businesses, distance education and everyday activities are hampered by poor or sometimes non-existent services comes through loud and clear.
“So news that upgrades to existing cell towers and construction of new towers should see 47,000 rural households and businesses experience faster internet speeds and better reception by the end of 2024 will come as a relief.”
Agricultural production, not to mention meeting the swathes of new regulations and requirements coming at farmers on freshwater protection, greenhouse gas emissions and more, increasingly relies on fast and reliable internet connectivity, Andrew says.
As the government has just acknowledged, COVID restrictions – with more remote health consultations, remote learning and maintaining family connections – has added new layers of demand.
“The Rural Capacity Upgrade will help, so kudos to the government,” Andrew says.