Federated Farmers president Katie Milne has described the first week on COVID-19 lockdown as “good but nerve racking”.
"The two things we want are faster and deeper broadband penetration into rural New Zealand along with enhanced mobile network coverage," says Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers Telecommunications spokesperson.
"To me, the numerical reduction in the number of telecommunication competitors is potentially outweighed by the scale and competitive pressure this brings.
"Instead of having a number of bit players, the acquisition of TelstraClear by Vodafone means a major competitor to Telecom. Whatever happens from now on in, the landscape has changed and farmers will benefit from the competition and services it will spur.
"With market share brings the case for network investment and with regulatory hurdles now cleared, it marries TelstraClear's strong fibre network, its radio spectrum and content, with Vodafone's mobile operations.
"As we noted a few months ago, as TelstraClear is a Sky reseller, Vodafone gets the opportunity to integrate this content with what it offers rural customers. That means multiple delivery channels now and into the future.
"As Vodafone will have some 29% of the broadband market in a combination of wired and wireless, it helps the business case for a 4G mobile network.
"That is something we are incredibly keen on in order to get ultra fast broadband into the nation's paddocks to boost productivity," Crofoot concluded.