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Thursday, 21 October 2021 10:55

Getting broadband to everyone

Written by  Mike Smith
WISPA chair Mike Smith. WISPA chair Mike Smith.

OPINION: Recent episodes of Fair Go have highlighted the difficulties a number of rural people have in getting access to quality, reliable broadband and how tough this makes their lives.

Businesses can't operate without a solid connection, kids can't be educated from home when required, and life is just harder for everyone.

As chair of WISPA-NZ, which represents specialist internet providers who look after many rural users, I understand why having access to the Internet is now a vital part of everyday life.

The 37 companies that make up our group are all specialists in using wireless internet technology to get to the places phone cable and fibre don't reach.

We already have more than 75,000 New Zealanders connected to the Internet through the huge range of towers built across rural Aotearoa. Our members know who they can reach and how to get a signal to people using some very sophisticated technology.

There's also been a major push from the Government to partner with our members to get fast broadband to everyone via the Rural Broadband (RBI). That's helped to fund towers to extend signals into some of the farthest spots you can imagine.

So, if people have no, or very limited internet connections, they shold get in contact with their local wireless internet service providers (or WISP) to see what can be done. Our members have a huge amount of experience of getting into the nooks and crannies of New Zealand and if we can help in any way, we would love to see what we could do.

For a list of all New Zealand's WISPs go to: https://www.wispa.nz/wispa-nz-members/.

Mike Smith, the chair of the Wieless Internet Service Providers Association of New Zealand (WISPA-NZ).

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