20 years of Inspire Net

20 years of Inspire Net

A message from James Watts

Hi everyone,

Just a heads-up as an Inspire Net customer, that we’re turning 20 next month!
20 years, hardly seems like that long when I have been living and breathing it, but the clock never seems to lie…

To celebrate our birthday month, we’re going to be running a few competitions, and More FM are also going to be giving away 1 year of free internet to listeners on the morning show with Mike, Gareth and Kearsley every day next week, so tune-in and be in to WIN a year free on your broadband account.

We’ll also be giving away 1 year free internet each week of September (customers only). As a customer, you’ll automatically be in the draw to win. We’ll announce our winners each week on our Facebook page and also on our website, so keep an eye out to see if it’s you!

We will close the helpdesk at 4pm on Saturday 15th September, so that all of our staff can celebrate together, and will be back on deck on Sunday as per usual.

20 years really is quite an achievement. From our humble beginnings in my garage with my flatmate Jared and I, doing dial-up services at $35/month when the big players were $279 for the same, and our business plan to get 2,000 customers in 5 years, which we achieved in just 6 months. It sure has been a roller coaster ride.

We saw the coming (and going) of the free dial-up ISPs, the beginnings of broadband over copper, through to higher speeds over copper, and now fibre starting to roll out around the country.

During this time we have survived and grown, through hard work, innovation and good old fashioned service, while the majority of the others came and went, merged or closed, or were even ripped into parts by the regulators.

Some highlights for me over the last 20 years have to be:

  • Somehow while living and breathing Inspire, I squeezed in getting married to a very tolerant woman who lets me more or less live at work, had 2 cool kids, and bought a house and a little bit of land to settle down and enjoy life.
  • Watching the company grow from just my flatmate and I working part time in my garage, through to the nearly 40 full time staff that we have today, spread across 2 buildings and yet still maintaining the level of service I would like if I was a customer, rather than the level that the rest of the industry seems to think is acceptable.
  • Providing fibre to a pile of our local schools, well before the government thought it was a good idea, enabling our community to get world class connectivity, and not just the big schools in town, but many of the small ones like Mangaweka, Taihape Area School, Mangamaire and Tararua College.
  • Building wireless to connect farmers all around our area, and becoming one of the biggest providers of wireless in the country.
  • Donating some fibre to the Palmerston North City Council to enable a CCTV project that would never have got off the ground without the connectivity we could provide.
  • Putting free wifi into the Hospital(s), Arohanui Hospice, Ronald MacDonald House in Auckland, along with many of the open spaces and cafes in the region where we all live, work and play.
  • Building a prepay network that covered not only the student accommodation, but also the accommodation in every major military base in the country, giving connectivity to people that had no easy option to get online.
  • And using our growth to support our community, from Centrepoint and the Globe, to the Jets basketball team, the Inspire Net SquashGym, and the Burnham Rugby Club, and the many hundreds of events and organisations we have helped along the way.

I would like to personally thank everyone that has come on this journey with us so far. From the staff that are here now, and those that have passed through on their own adventure, to you, our customers, without who we would not exist. Without the team here, and you guys out there, we could not have grown, nor given back to our community in ways that better us all, let alone had 20 years of great fun!

Thanks again for your support.
James Watts.