Fibre-enable cell site gets coast connected

The first West Coast fibre enabled cell site along the Haast Highway 8km west of Fox Glacier...
The first West Coast fibre enabled cell site along the Haast Highway 8km west of Fox Glacier township has gone live providing broadband and mobile calling services to homes, businesses, and the farming community across the area. PHOTO: RCG AND VENTIA PTY LTD
Homes, businesses and farming communities along a 20km stretch of SH6 are now much better "digitally connected" to the rest of the world following the first West Coast fibre enabled cell site going live.

The site, named Fox West, along the Haast Highway 8km west of Fox Glacier township was expected to provide 4G wireless broadband and mobile calling services to homes, businesses, the farming community across the area, and to about 20km of SH6 covering Haast Highway to the Cook River.

Rural Connectivity Group CEO John Proctor said there was a significant build programme across the West Coast and Otago region under way and livening this site marked the start of a vastly improved modern telecommunications network across the West Coast.

Primarily funded from the Provincial Growth Fund, the Chorus fibre roll-out would also enable RCG to connect over 20 mobile cell sites from Fox Glacier to Haast in the Westland District Council area, and from Haast to Lake Hawea in the Otago region, to the Chorus fibre, Mr Proctor said.

JB Rousselot
JB Rousselot

Chorus CEO, JB Rousselot said 250km of fibre running along the West Coasts SH6 will provide additional resilience to the network and from a health and safety perspective was a huge milestone in having reliable coverage for Kiwis traversing the roads.

"We are also pleased that, as part of this work, fibre will be made available to Haast residents, adding to the hundreds of towns nationwide already able to connect to world-class, fast fibre broadband," Mr Rousselot said.

The government-funded Rural Broadband Initiative was expected to be fully completed in 2023 providing 84,000 rural homes and businesses with improved broadband.

The Mobile Black Spot Fund programme would provide about 1400km of state highway coverage and connectivity to 168 tourism sites across New Zealand.

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

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