Rural Connectivity Group update

The Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) continues to make good progress across the West Coast with the roll out of the governments Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2 and Mobile Black Spots programme.  To date sites have been built and are providing services to the communities of Haast township, Tatare, Ruatapu, Pukekura, Okarito, and Lake Wahapo.  There are also small cells operating to assist with coverage along State Highway 6 near Lake Moeraki, Bruce Bay and Roaring Billy Falls.  

There are technical challenges for linking the West Coast sites back into the main telecommunications network but the RCG is working on solutions to ensure the West Coast will achieve robust and reliable cellular services.  This includes obtaining a site on Bald Hill in DOC Estate which will provide critical linking to sites from Haast down the coast to Jackson Bay.  The current backhaul connection for the Haast township RCG facility can be affected by very heavy weather events, which has been experienced at times this winter.

Any queries about the RCG work can be directed to: Gill Evans, Community Engagement Manager,

The RCG network is providing 4G services from Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees. Because of this, many customers will need a software update to their phone or, in some cases, may need to upgrade their phone. 

Voice calling will be still be available to those using an older generation mobile via internet-enabled applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facetime or Facebook Messenger, although these services will draw on a user’s data plan with their provider instead of calling minutes.

For more information about your mobile network:

Update on the Rural Broadband Initiative phase 2 and Mobile black spots programme