18 December 2018
InternetNZ applauds the Government's announcements of additional rural broadband and mobile coverage across New Zealand, taking coverage to 99.8% of the population over the next four years.
Jordan Carter, Chief Executive of InternetNZ, says this is fantastic news for New Zealanders – because everyone should be able to access the Internet.
"The Internet is such a big part of our lives now. Not only are we using it for entertainment and communication, it's now essential for things like banking, education, finding jobs and maintaining a successful business.
"This is making it more important than ever to give more New Zealanders access to better Internet connectivity," says Carter.
The plan will give access to around 10,000 more rural households and businesses. It will also provide new mobile coverage to approximately 365 kilometres of State Highways and 59 tourism areas.
While increasing access to the Internet is welcome, it's only part of the challenge in addressing digital divides. Other solutions are needed to ensure people can afford it, they have the motivation and skills to use it, and they have trust that it is secure and safe.
"We need to consider all aspects of digital divides if we want all New Zealanders to be able to harness the power of the Internet," says Carter.
InternetNZ has a strong focus on helping people access the Internet. The tech sector, businesses and government all need to work together to come up with solutions that continue to close digital divides over the whole country.
"Today's announcement is an important step in helping to close these digital divides. InternetNZ is keen to work on what we do next so all New Zealanders can make the most of the Internet."
- InternetNZ teamed up with the Vodafone Foundation to produce a report on the digital divides happening in New Zealand. You can view it at https://report.digitaldivides.nz/
- To see the Government's announcement go here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/broadband-extends-998-population