fbpx
Print this page
Wednesday, 24 February 2021 10:55

Editorial: Better connection, now!

Written by  Staff Reporters
TUANZ chief executive Craig Young says organisations need to be aware, while moving online, that traditional means are necessary for some users. TUANZ chief executive Craig Young says organisations need to be aware, while moving online, that traditional means are necessary for some users.

OPINION: We may now be into the third decade of the 21st century, but unfortunately much of NZ’s rural broadband and mobile coverage remains at third world levels.

That is unacceptable in a modern, first-world country like New Zealand. How is it still the case that many farmers and rural businesses around the country have to buy costly equipment to get broadband, while many others cannot even get mobile phone coverage at all?

As the Technology Users Association of NZ (TUANZ) chief executive Craig Young says, rural people should be getting the same level of connectivity in terms of broadband and mobile coverage as the people who live in urban areas.

It is even more important for rural people to have high quality connectivity, given their often remote locations and the fact that they are running significant businesses – not only farming, but other service related enterprises.

“We are expecting New Zealanders to make the most of this digital technology and services with government agencies and corporate organisations expecting customers to do more and more online,” Young explains. “Organisations like IRD and banks need to be aware that if people can’t connect or haven’t got good connectivity they should be able to do these things by the traditional means.”

He is absolutely right.

How can rural people be expected take advantage of digital technology when many do not have access to reliable, affordable broadband?

Meanwhile, the Climate Change Commission, in its recent report, said that if farmers and people in rural areas are going to be expected to meet all sorts of environmental targets and provide data to local and central government agencies, they need good connectivity.

If government and others are expecting the farming and the rural sectors to play their part in reducing the country’s carbon emissions, reliable and affordable connectivity is a must.

The Government needs to step up and make rural broadband connectivity and mobile phone coverage a priority in its post-Covid infrastructure plans. PM Jacinda Ardern promised to govern for all New Zealanders when she was re-elected last year.

How can this be so when young rural people risk being disadvantaged in their education, and others with their health and businesses?

Ardern and her Government now must act on her election night promise.

Rural people deserve same access to health, entertainment and business options as their urban counterparts.

More like this

Rural broadband fast-track welcomed

The acceleration of two rural communications initiatives announced by Government last week is good news, but more is needed, says the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ (TUANZ).

NZ needs better, more reliable broadband

The MobileTECH conference at Rotorua was heralded as a showcase for emerging technologies and a forum to bring together designers, innovators and early adopters.

Online companies enjoy a head start

Companies which have high internet usage are currently 4 years ahead, 6% more productive and generate 20% more revenue compared with an average firm.

National

FMD scare puts NZ on watch

A recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia has the NZ agriculture sector and its officials on…

Public round up on glyphosate

The country's environmental regulator agency has released the public feedback it has received on the glyphosate weed killer - commonly…

New bee Guy!

Former Agriculture Minister Nathan Guy will take over as the independent chair of Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ).

Machinery & Products

A new approach to apprenticeships

By taking a new approach to its apprenticeship programme, agricultural equipment supplier Norwood says it is ensuring farmers’ machinery will…

Buck-Rake does the job

With many self-propelled forage harvester manufacturers offering machines hitting 1000hp, the bottleneck in any harvesting system is always likely to…