Inspire Net wins $1.7 Million government grant funding to connect rural NZ in and around their region.

After the announcement by Prime Minister Bill English, Communications Minister Simon Bridges and Crown Fibre Holdings we are proud to let our customers know that Inspire Net has secured $1.7 Million of grant funding towards upgrading approx. 1550 of our most remote end users. We will be contributing at around 2.5 to 1 on that funding to upgrade all of our end users (approx. 4500) who are not going to be covered by UFB2, or the surprise announcement of UFB2+. We will be upgrading all of our wireless users from our current 5Mbit service to a 25Mbit service over the next 4 years, which will be capable of running streaming services such as Netflix, Skype for Business and the like, and moving any that have fibre available to the fibre network as soon as it’s ready for them.

Over the last 19 years, Inspire Net has forged ahead in our local areas providing the best possible connectivity to many of our long forgotten towns and rural users. We have innovated in areas from being one of New Zealand’s first commercial Wireless ISP’s to also being one of New Zealand’s first independent fibre providers. We have provided connectivity for the likes of Council and Health at speeds that they needed, but were not available from incumbent providers for years to come, and then leveraged that connectivity to provide services such as our Rural Wireless, Inspire Free Wifi platform, running local CCTV platforms, sharing CCTV between councils and Police and connecting our communities schools with fibre over 10 years ahead of the Government thinking it should be done. Over recent years we have seen many of our innovative ideas become mainstream, which has diminished our value to the local community as other providers came along with access to much more funding than we had, perhaps we were just ahead of our time in rolling out these services and should have just sat around and waited, but that’s never been our way ????

Inspire Net has been investing all over our local footprint (and the rest of the country), but has perhaps made the mistake of not telling local people enough about what we have been up to, instead just connecting people and then moving on to connect more people, quietly and in the background doing all the little bits that were put in the too hard basket by others.

To quickly cover off the not telling anyone…….
On top of providing a nationwide service on Copper and fibre from Chorus, Ultrafast and Enable, services we have been focused on lately are the Inspire free Wifi rollout into useful areas for people (see for coverage maps) and InspirePrepay (see for more details), our month by month wifi product that is in Universities, Halls of Residence, Hostels, Military Bases and lower decile housing areas around the country. There are 3000+ WiFi access points on this network now, in a lot of public places, including Cafes, Libraries, Hospitals, Hospices and as many tourist locations as we can.  Recently we completed a fully sponsored deal for Ronald MacDonald House to put free wifi through their Auckland facilities as so many of our local people end up there for periods of time with their children, and we believe connecting families is critical. Additionally we have been investing in our own fibre subdivisions in areas no one wanted to cover. We are currently also, quietly in the background, ensuring all our major customers are connected to both our Palmerston North and Pahiatua datacenters with diversity to ensure reliable connectivity in the event of a Kaikoura or Christchurch style of event, when all the flooding in and around Whanganui happened, our wireless kept many communities connected when all other services failed.

We have grown from our humble beginning of 2 staff in James’ garage 19 years ago, to over 40 staff that live in and around our region, across our main HQ building and our Infrastructure Division building. We contribute 10% of our revenue every year into community sponsorship, and we use local businesses to support us at every opportunity we can.

We are currently working through the specifics of our wireless network upgrade, and we plan to use as many local businesses as possible to support our upgrade, and believe in investing locally to achieve this wherever possible.

Keep following us to stay up-to-date about the things Inspire are sponsoring and working on in our communities, and stay tuned over the coming months to get updates on where we’re at with the RBI2 rollout. Thanks for all of your support, this is a win for all of us!

The Inspire Net team.