Another sector of Whanganui’s rural community has got better cellphone cover now that a new tower has gone up in Upkongaro, on SH4 north of the city, one of 34 new cell towers to go up around the country since last year.

Whanganui MP Chester Borrows the new tower has led to better local cellphone coverage, and mobiles can now be used where there was previously no coverage.

“Better cell coverage helps drive economic development and enables rural Whanganui to take part in the digital economy. It’s also essential for emergency situations and makes personal life more convenient for people living and working in remote areas,” Mr Borrows said.

Spark and Vodafone won a contract to build the towers as part of the Government’s commitment to deliver the best possible telecommunications infrastructure to New Zealanders.

The programme has added 3825 square kilometres to the country’s cell network, and more towers are scheduled to be built in coming years.

Mr Borrows said improving rural connectivity was a priority for the Government.

“The project is complimented by the Government’s rural broadband initiative, and both programmes are helping boost Whanganui’s local economy and supporting our rural community,” he said.