New cell tower a game changer

By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk

The Banks Peninsula Trotting Club is hailing the area’s new cellphone tower as a game changer.

“This may look boring but it means so much to us at the Banks Peninsula Trotting Club,” said club secretary-manager Glenn Hames, “We now have full cellphone and broadband coverage on course.”

In the past coverage at the Motukarara course has been patchy at best with a number of dead spots. The upgrade is a massive boost to the club, it is also timely as RITA (Racing Industry Transition Agency) drastically cuts costs across all areas of its business.

“With the possibility that they are phasing out tote operators on course it means people can bet on their devices, and this will be huge for our turnover,” said Hames.

The Gebbies Valley tower is the 100th new rural mobile tower. It’s all part of the Rural Broadband Initiative that the Government is carrying out in conjunction with the Rural Connectivity Group.

Hames adding : “For the first time in the world, three providers are all using the same tower. So if you’re with Spark, Vodafone or 2 Degrees you will be able to use your devices at Motukarara Racecourse.”

“COVID-19 has clearly shown us the importance of being digitally connected, and this new tower in Gebbies Valley means that more people are now able to connect to broadband, bringing social inclusion and allowing people to work and learn from home,” said Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi.

“There are to be seven new mobile sites in the Christchurch City Council area – with five in Banks Peninsula. Once these sites are completed, 650 rural homes and businesses, which cannot currently access broadband, will have the opportunity to connect.”

Hames says the changes will have a positive effect for everyone on course, with their next meeting at this stage scheduled for September 27.

 

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