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Working together to improve mobile and broadband in Coromandel Town

Working together to improve mobile and broadband in Coromandel Town

Posted April 08, 2020
Council Matters

Media Release: THames Coromandel District Council

Spark has joined up with Thames Coromandel District Council to provide extra mobile and broadband capacity to residents of Coromandel Town during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.

A temporary Cellsite on Wheels (CoW) has been installed on council property to relieve congestion and overloading on the existing cell tower.

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, Spark’s existing cell site in Coromandel Town had reached capacity. Now with all residents required to stay home, this existing site cannot provide the increased service needed with the entire community working and learning from home.

“I am delighted that Spark will temporarily increase their level of service in our town,” says Peter Pritchard Coromandel-Colville Community Board Chair.

“Data and mobile network use has shot up during the lockdown period so far and is expected to increase further once schools go back to their ‘learning from home’ service next week,” Mr Pritchard says. “It is important that students in Coromandel Town have essential connectivity through this evolving circumstance to continue learning with as little disruption as possible.”

“The Community Board is 100 per cent supporting Spark, which has the resources to bring in a rapid solution to our problem,” he says.

“This is a temporary arrangement for the period of the emergency, it’s a 4G mobile trailer designed to be wheeled in and then wheeled out to the next event, and at some stage another discussion will be had in regard to a more permanent solution”.

The location for the new site will be our Council property at Pound Street, and mobile and broadband services will be available from the new site this week.

“We’ve been very pleased to work with Peter Pritchard and with Councillor John Morrissey,” Spark community engagement manager Graeme McCarrison says. “They have assisted us in finding a location for the temporary Cellsite on Wheels that will help the community benefit from the additional 3G and 4G services. This temporary cell site does not provide 5G services.”

“Looking to the future, we’ve already said that another permanent cell site will be needed in Coromandel Town. We anticipate that this conversation will happen over the next couple of years and will involve the community. But for now, we’ve put in this temporary cell site so the residents of Coromandel Town can get the connectivity they need during the COVID-19 lockdown,” Mr McCarrison says.

Photo: TCDC - Spark temporary cell site