Gebbies Valley, south of Christchurch, is the site of the latest Rural Connectivity Group tower. The RCG now has 100 operational rural broadband towers.

The tower offers 4G-based broadband services and 4G voice calling to the local community.

It includes Voice-over-LTE equipment which means users can make high quality voice calls. There will also be 3G voice calling, that’s not commissioned yet. This will cover a black spot on State Highway 75.

Each RCG tower has antennae shared by Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees.

Communications Minister Kris Faafoi says it is a significant milestone for the second phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative. This a government funded project to deliver broadband services to the more remote parts of New Zealand.

Faafoi says the RCG towers now provide broadband access to 8,121 homes and businesses. They also mean extra mobile coverage for 343km of state highway and connect 23 tourism locations.

Eventually RBI2 will cater for 84,000 rural homes and businesses. It will improve mobile coverage on 1400km of state highways and connect 168 tourist sites.