Thursday, 14 May 2020 09:42

Farmers backing broadband upgrade

Written by  Peter Burke
Fiona Gower. Fiona Gower.

Farmers are calling for an improvement of the rural broadband network.

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) says improving connectivity is vital to successful business, health and safety, education and social connection in rural communities.

National President, Fiona Gower, says RWNZ would like to see the Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP’s) included in the Government’s new rural broadband funding.

“We would also like to see a commitment to improving cellphone coverage in rural New Zealand because with only 50 per cent coverage across New Zealand, it is the rural communities missing out. COVID-19 has highlighted the issue of digital inequity with incredibly slow rural internet speeds and landlines overloading,” she says. 

 Gower says children now being schooled at home are often struggling to get to their online classes. 

“Across the board, self-isolation and restrictions on bubbles mean that it is vital that communities have the tools to connect, at the very least, to maintain mental wellness,” says Ms Gower.

Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard says surveys conducted by his organisation show there are some large parts of the rural countryside which still have slow, or no, access to the internet.

“The vast majority of New Zealanders living in towns and cities have absolutely no idea how bad internet access still is in some parts of the country,” he says.

 Hoggard says Feds surveys show internet speeds for rural users are still likely to make it difficult for them to complete tasks like internet banking, making orders online and using recruitment websites, not to mention the kids being able to do online schooling.

“If government are looking for a shovel-ready project, this would be a good one. The shovels are already in the ground.”

More like this

Rural health focus for new boss

Rural Women New Zealand’s (RWNZ) new chief executive says the organisation’s ability to provide opportunities to women sold her on the job.

RWNZ to focus on connection

Rural Women New Zealand’s new chief executive says the organisation is focusing on its connection with rural communities.

Don't forget us - RWNZ

Don't forget rural communities in the proposed national health system, Rural Women New Zealand is telling the government.

National

Machinery & Products

Effluent injection goes XL

Dutch effluent specialist Vredo is testing 15 and 18-metre wide slurry injection rigs for the upcoming 2022 spreading season.

Choosing the right pump

Choosing the right pump for an effluent system is the key to ensuring a system works well and gives many…

Spreading muck with ease

Palmerston North headquartered Strautmann Hopkins Ltd imports the extensive range of Strautmann Muck Spreaders for farmers and contractors, built by…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Liquid or powder?

Fonterra, the biggest exporter of milk powder to Sri Lanka, may have a new battle on its hands.

Failed legal action

UK vegan and animal rights groups have failed in a bid to ban an advertising campaign promoting meat and dairy…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter