Wow, the time goes by so fast that these "Almost Monthlies" seem to be turning into "Nearly Yearly's"
As always there are many things happening at Inspire Net in our quiet quest for being the best little service provider in the country.
Inspire Christmas Function and Holiday hours
As per every year, we are closing our helpdesk for our staff Christmas function. The helpdesk will be closed early on Saturday 12th December, from 3pm, so that all our staff can attend our function and celebrate another year of hard work and great service completed. Our helpdesk will be here right through the Holiday period, with the exception of Christmas Day when we are closed. Our reception at our office will be open all standard business days as per usual. Don’t panic about our helpdesk being shut for our Christmas function or Christmas Day, our network is monitored by our on-call team, and we always have one "volunteer" Geek that is in charge of making sure everything is still running, and can head to the Datacentre in event of anything major.
Metrolan Wireless Service
I am very much aware of the congestion issues some of you are seeing on your rural wireless connections. This is mostly for 4 of our major towers covering the greater Manawatu (we have several hundred wireless repeaters dotted around "InspireLand"). I have been working very hard with the manufacturer of our wireless equipment to resolve this, but they have not been able to come up with a working solution for the sheer number of customers we have on the network in this area, and the growth we are continuing to see. We have allocated a budget of over $500k this Summer and Autumn to upgrade 8 of our biggest towers, and all the associated customer equipment off them, to a new wireless platform. We have a 40 foot shipping container of equipment due to arrive into the country in the next few weeks and will be moving as quickly as the weather allows.
The first goal of this upgrade is to fix the current speed issues people are seeing. These have stemmed from the sheer number of people who now use their connections a lot differently to stream Netflix, Lightbox, Neon and other TV services on the wireless network, which is quite a different type of traffic than simply web browsing and Facebooking.
The second goal once we have all the radios on peoples roofs replaced is to upgrade the speed to each wireless customer to a higher peak speed to enable a better service.
Inspire Fibre Services
Inspire now has fibre handovers in Blenheim, Wellington, Masterton, Levin, Palmerston North, Whanganui and Auckland, with a new one scheduled for Paraparaumu due online in February. If fibre has been dug past your gate and you are interested in connecting to this new way of having your broadband and phone delivered, contact our helpdesk to discuss.
Inspire Net has also committed to putting fibre into the new Woodgate subdivision at Summerhill in Palmerston North, as this area was not covered by the Government funded rollout. Early in the New Year we will be looking to discuss with surrounding areas in Summerhill, that if there are enough people interested in a fibre connection, we will expand this through areas such as Ruapehu Drive, Waicola, and perhaps even some of the subdivisions off the Pahiatua Track. This will be done on a similar program to our community champion program for wireless, where we will work with communities that want to band together to get fibre.
Inspire Net Terms and Conditions updated today
We have made a few minor changes to our terms and conditions to make them more fair, to meet requirements of the Fair Trading Act 2013 that came into force on March 17th this year. We review our terms and conditions regularly and have amended several clauses that we felt had potential to be mis-interpreted or be unfair. There is an article on the Consumer New Zealand website about the changes that came into place this year available at https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/play-fair-campaign
Voice over IP (VOIP) Services
Last year when the copper price change came in to force we offered a Voice over IP service, only to run into issues being able to supply it due to hardware limitations on some of our equipment. This service is now fully available and we can provide your phone delivered over top of ADSL, VDSL, UFB or our wireless network. We have been working with customers who had registered their interest all year to move them onto our Voice over IP service and are now opening the service to anyone that wishes to use it.
What’s coming in 2016 ?
We have a bunch of plans for starting 2016 off with a bang, and I am interested in feedback / opinions on what you would like to see change at Inspire.
Early January we will be changing our VOIP service to add new features and more bundled minutes, and also lower the monthly pricing of our Virtual PABX phone service for businesses.
We will be advertising for a Sales person to service and grow our small to medium business customers, and also a Brand and Marketing Manager to take over the day to day promotion and management of our website, advertising and general brand. Keep an eye out on TradeMe Jobs if this looks like something that might appeal to you.
Flat rate ? I would love feedback from you on what your opinion of flat rate Internet is, and if it is a reason you would leave Inspire if we don’t offer it ? Inspire has always had several different levels of traffic cap to allow small users to simply pay for what they want, and large users to take a bigger traffic cap to suit their needs, but I am interested to hear if people think they need us to offer flat rate services ?
Mobile Phones ? I would also like to hear from you if you would like Inspire Net to look at offering a cell phone service in the future, this would be a product we wholesale from Spark or Vodafone, but would allow our customers to have a single invoice from us for all their telecommunications services.
Free WIFI ? I am interested in how many of our customers use our InspireFreeWifi network around the region, and if there are places you would like to see better coverage, if you care if we keep it going, if it would impact you if we turned it off in the city ?
As a final closing note, I would like to take this time to wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Travel safe, enjoy any time you have off with your family, friends, or just enjoying a break on your own. We look forward to continuing to be your ISP of choice in 2016.