Cellphone tower should be finished next month

The construction of a cellphone tower to enhance broadband and mobile coverage in the Maniototo has been delayed until next month.

Naseby Vision chairman John Crawford told the Otago Daily Times the tower was supposed to be in operation in May but ''early snow'' had affected access to the site.

Construction was ''weather dependent'' but he hoped the tower would be completed by the end of August.

''You wouldn't want to hold your breath,'' he said.

Naseby Vision was in contact with Vodafone and received regular updates on the situation.

The group had been lobbying for 10 years to get a tower installed, initially talking to government departments.

The lack of mobile coverage and broadband in the area, particularly Naseby, created concerns over potential civil emergencies and fires, he said.

It was also a ''real impediment'' for business owners in the town who needed broadband to run their business.

''At the moment, people have to go out of town and sit on the side of the road,'' he said.

But it was ''not too far away and that's really good news''.

The group was also working with the Central Otago District Council to try to improve the broadband speed in the town.

He said he understood the new tower would help improve other parts of the Maniototo.

A Vodafone spokesman said work was ''under way'' to provide a new cell tower to Naseby, which would benefit about 450 homes.

''Works have been slowed due to recent bad weather in the region. Weather conditions permitting, we hope to have the site operational towards the end of August.''

liam.cavanagh@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter