3 February 2022

Rural Connectivity Group liven their 300th site.
Coroglen and Kaimarama residents now with 4G connectivity

The Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) has livened their 300th site under the government funded Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2 (RBI2) and Mobile Black Spot Fund (MBSF) programmes.

The residents of Coroglen are the latest recipients of RBI2 coverage and they have eagerly awaited the tower to be switched on. RCG has also livened a neighbouring tower at Kaimarama meaning that 160 households in the district now have access to 4G wireless broadband and 4G mobile services from Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees. The new sites take the total number of operational RCG sites in the Waikato Region to 27, with the number due to double in the region by the end of the programme in December 2023.
The 27 RCG live sites are enabling over 2,700 homes and business, over 50km of local State Highway and 5 tourism hotspots, previously with poor or no network connectivity, access to high-speed 4G wireless broadband and quality mobile coverage, across the Thames Coromandel, Hauraki, Waikato, South Waikato, Waipa, Otorohanga and Taupo Council areas.
“We’re delighted to have livened RCG’s Coroglen and Kaimarama sites, making this our first site live in the Thames Coromandel district. We’ve a substantial build programme across the Coromandel with 9 sites of the 58 cell sites located in the Waikato Region, being built across the Peninsula. The second site in our Coromandel network, located at Kaimarama, went live last week and we also have sites at Little Bay, Otama Beach and Kennedy Bay under construction” says John Proctor, CEO of RCG.
“Livening this site marks a significant point in the RCG journey, including for our suppliers and contractors who have all contributed to our network of 300 live sites. We are very aware what this means to Coroglen locals and how eager they are for services to be delivered via our network. We are very grateful to Ross and Alan Upton for realising the benefits of this site for their local community and working with us to get this new facility built to provide services to Coroglen.” he says.
Local farmer and landowner of the Coroglen site location, Ross Upton, says “gaining fast broadband and mobile services is a huge boost to our family run farming business. We have two families directly involved in our farming operation and gaining reliable broadband and mobile services will be hugely helpful in sharing business information, making informed decisions for the business, and keeping in touch whilst out on the farm.”
The RCG network of 300 live sites across rural New Zealand is providing fast reliable internet connectivity allowing rural people to make a choice about working and schooling from home, providing opportunity to pursue online business, promoting their goods via social media networks, and selling products via online shops. All valuable benefits that Coroglen businesses will be able to take advantage of now.
Eric and Sandra Gaskill owners of Fun Zone Whitianga also assisted RCG in providing access for the second livened site on the Coromandel to provide coverage to Kaimarama. “The new connectivity is critically important to our district and the operation of our adventure park will be enhanced by mobile eftpos payments, a reliable online booking system, staff management and our health and safety operations” says Eric.

A sentiment echoed by Garry Towler, District Manager for TCDC Emergency Management, saying “Reliable broadband and mobile service is essential for emergency management, such as the frequent floods and extreme weather events that the Coromandel area experiences, as well as for reaching people quickly during major events such as a tsunami. The new network is also important for rural and isolated families to contact and have two-way communications with emergency services in the case of an accident, fire, or other emergencies. Our rural people will now be able to be better informed of potential hazards related to events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis or Civil Defence warnings and have immediate ability to report any criminal activity”.

The new RCG sites are the result of an industry leading collaboration between the three mobile network operators and Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to build over 500 cell sites across rural New Zealand delivering essential broadband and mobile services.
The RCG is a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees, and has been contracted by CIP to deliver the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2 (RBI2) and Mobile Black Spots Fund (MBSF) programmes. The RCG is responsible for building, operating, and maintaining this essential rural network infrastructure.
The RCG cell sites are running the latest 4G technology and services are now available to customers of Spark, Vodafone or 2degrees. Customers may need to upgrade their phone settings to enable 4G voice calling. Information is available on the websites for each company and anyone unsure if their device can receive and make calls over the 4G network should contact their service provider.