A Golden Bay group says access to broadband and 3G cellphone coverage is possible without the proposed 30-metre high Vodafone tower in Pohara.
They say Vodafone has provided them with the maps to prove it.
The tower is now in the public submission phase of a resource consent bid to the Tasman District Council.
Vodafone plans to install the monopole tower on Bird's Clearing hill, which overlooks Pohara Beach. Its plan is part of the rural broadband initiative.
A spokeswoman for GB Natural and Linked, Judith Rothstein, said the group had spent "hundreds of hours" researching the technology and its implications for her community.
"When people understand that we do have coverage for the cellphones and broadband I think people will feel very united in saying we don't need the Pohara tower and we want the natural ridgeline to be preserved," she said.
Ms Rothstein said a combination of the soon-to-be-upgraded Mt Burnett tower, the new fibre-connected Takaka tower (known as the Pupu tower) and the fibre-optic upgraded Chorus cabinets ensured everyone in Golden Bay would be able to sufficiently access broadband and 3G cellphone coverage without the tower.
The only exception was a small group of people living on Bird's Clearing and parts of Wainui Bay.
However, Vodafone external communications manager Michelle Baguley said parts of Golden Bay would miss out on both coverage and capacity without the Pohara tower.
"Without the Pohara [Birds Clearing] telecommunication facility there will not be any coverage to parts of the Wainui Bay and there will be poor coverage to the rest of Wainui Inlet as well as Takapou Bay, Tata Bay, Ligar Bay, Clifton and Pohara.
"Those latter areas will receive some coverage from the Takaka [Pupu] telecommunication facility but they will not be at levels sufficient for the RBI service and will provide patchy mobile services."
Ms Baguley said the existing Collingwood (Mt Burnett) and the new Takaka (Pupu) facilities would face extra demands without the Pohara tower that would affect network performance in the area.
The performance issues could include "dropped calls, the inability to make a call, and very slow mobile data and wireless broadband".
Ms Baguley said it was important to remember that the towers were designed not only for mobile coverage but also wireless broadband services.
Originally Vodafone intended to install a 30m tower but due to the consultation undertaken they decided to change to a monopole design.
Bird's Clearing landowner John Kebble said he was the first person Vodafone contacted in December last year and he asked them to investigate other options. Mr Kebble, who is also a member of GB Natural and Linked, believed if people knew the monopole was not needed they would prefer "no tower on our skyline".
"The proposed plan shows a 30m tower with a platform for 12-18 antennas and two microwave dishes on a prominent ridgeline forming the backdrop to eastern Golden Bay. This ridge is recommended as an outstanding natural landscape in all four options of the Boffa-Miskell reports," he said. Ms Rothstein said she was concerned that Vodafone would not provide a visual impact assessment until the public submission period had been closed. "This seems a blatant obstruction to an informed, publicly notified consent process."
Mrs Baguley said Vodafone had not had to supply visual impact reports in previous successful applications.
"Therefore we were not aware it was required until after the application had been submitted. The application was then put on hold for a short period while we completed the necessary montages and simulations required by council."
GB Natural and Linked has asked the Golden Bay Community Board to submit against the tower. Board chairwoman Carolyn McLellan said the board would meet this week to decide its submission to the resource consent, including its response to GB Natural and Linked.
Vodafone's application can be viewed: tasman.govt.nz/property/resource-consents/notified-resource-consent-applications/applications-open-for-submissions
Submissions on the facility close on September 6.
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