Latest News & Public Notices

Telcos boost mobile networks on the Coromandel

29 December 2015

Mobile networks in the Coromandel are being beefed up in anticipation of the busiest summer for data use yet.

As visitors flock to our district's beaches, posting selfies and searching for restaurant recommendations, mobile date usage skyrockets, putting a strain on the capacity of network providers.

New Zealand's two biggest telecommunications firms - Spark and Vodafone - have augmented their mobile data capacity in Whangamata, Hahei, Pauanui and Whitianga.

Spark has enabled 4G on the central tower in Whangamata and expanded its network capacity from the tower on September Road, overlooking town. Spark is also bringing in a temporary site for the town centre to expand its 4G network. 4G provides faster download speeds than 3G, or third generation mobile telecommunications technology.

Spark had a 225% increase in mobile data used over the Christmas and New Year period last summer and a five-fold increase in 4G mobile data usage over the same period and it expects this summer's peak period to be even busier.

Vodafone expects a similar increase in data usage and has spent more than $420,000 on its network in the Coromandel ahead of Christmas.

A COW for Hahei

Vodafone has built a new cell site with 4G capacity in Whangamata and placed a COW (Cellsite on Wheels) in Hahei to provide more network capacity. Vodafone has also doubled its 4G capacity in Pauanui and Whitianga.

Vodafone has been heavily involved in the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative, building or upgrading towers that provide mobile network coverage and wireless broadband.

Our Council is actively involved in bidding for some of the $360 million that the Government announced earlier in 2015 that it would spend on improving broadband coverage around the country.

This money extends the Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband initiatives (UFB and RBI) that have already helped improve internet speeds in some parts of the Coromandel.

We expect to have an answer by mid-2016 from the Government about our bid for UFB funding to invest in ultra-fast broadband carried on fibre-optic cable in our five biggest townships: Thames, Whitianga, Whangamata, Tairua-Pauanui and Coromandel Town.

After that, the Government will proceed with rolling out its expansion of the Rural Broadband Initiative to improve broadband speeds outside the main townships.

For more information on broadband in the Coromandel, see www.tcdc.govt.nz/rbi

Drones on the Coromandel

Santa Claus may have put quite a few drones - or remote-controlled aerial vehicles - under Christmas trees this year so we can expect to see a few in the air.

Drone operators need to apply to our Council for approval when planning to fly their machines over Council land under new Civil Aviation Authority rules.

Those rules require the operator to get consent from the landowner whose property the drone will be flying over and from any person who the drone may fly over also.

Typically, professional drone operators such as real estate photographers already register their flights with www.airshare.co.nz even if they are only operating short flights.

Approval is being given on a case-by-case basis, so until we review our Public Places Bylaw in 2016, please get in touch with us on 07 868 0200.

For more information see our web site: www.tcdc.govt.nz/drones