Publication:

Whanganui Midweek - 2021-11-24

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Cutting Sure Signal service ‘puzzling and disappointing’

Community Link

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is disappointed to hear that Vodafone is cutting off their Sure Signal service with little explanation, leaving many customers without a mobile network. “Most Vodafone Sure Signal customers have been told that the service will be turned off on December 10 — this cuts off the mobile network to thousands of rural families,” says RWNZ board member and technology convenor Claire Williamson. “Vodafone is assuring their customers that they will be able to use WiFi calling, however, that is only suitable for those with good internet and/or have a cellphone that can do WiFi calling. “This action from Vodafone means that there are many rural residents who will no longer be able to send and receive texts, pxts or MMS for business and personal reasons, nor will they be able to use two-factor authentication — they are effectively cut off from the rest of the world. “Visitors to rural properties such as rural service providers, family and friends will not be able to access the mobile network either and we are hearing of many who are concerned about that. “Also of concern is the apparent push from Vodafone to now buy cellphones that are capable of WiFi calling whilst only allowing a few models for this. “Historically, Vodafone has been the only mobile service provider to support rural residents without cellular coverage to access their mobile network through the Sure Signal service — this complete turnaround is puzzling and disappointing. “Once again we see a lack of rural proofing policies and services with the result that rural families and businesses miss out on connectivity that the rest of New Zealand takes for granted. “Yes, we can use broadband, however we also want access to the mobile network — rural communities deserve better,” says Claire Williamson.

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