Getting rural communities connected to the internet can be a lot harder than it is for townies, it takes a lot more funding, organising and travelling, plus the need for good weather is fairly essential too.
Inspire Net has so far installed over 200 wireless access point transmitter towers in the greater Manawatu area, giving fast, affordable connectivity to homes that may not have had any, or very few options to choose from before.
The Community Champion for an area is a local person who helps co-ordinate, collect and distribute information to and from their neighbours, and Inspire Net, to see if it’s viable for Inspire Net to build a new tower. This can involve talking with Inspire, setting up community meetings where Inspire comes and talks about what it takes to connect, or collecting information from interested neighbours and keeping everyone up-to-date with the project.
As a minimum we need 10 houses physically located in a relatively close proximity to each other (preferably within a 20 kilometre radius, or within the same valley). The Community Champion is Inspire Net’s point of contact and will be kept up-to-date from start to finish. The process can take between 12-16 weeks depending on the season, weather conditions and the schedules of both parties.
If you have 10 or more properties interested in connecting to us, we will cover the cost of materials and labour to build the repeater transmitter, so there is no cost to your community. If you have less than 10 properties wanting to be connected, it may still be possible to build a repeater in your area, however there may be costs involved. We can provide a quote in this situation.
A repeater pulls in an Internet connection from another Inspire Net location and “repeats” that connectivity to a community. It may be a power pole with equipment, a fenced off small structural steel pole, or simply two small radio antennas on a wool shed. We currently have over 200 repeaters up and running around rural New Zealand.
The actual size of the repeater depends on how many properties it will need to connect and the distance to each. Once we have an idea of how many properties are being connected, we can confirm the exact style of repeater we will need to use. The majority of our repeaters look like these ones below:
This all depends on weather, lambing, cropping, hay-baling and our own work schedule. Because the wireless repeaters are high up, getting access to these areas on farms can be difficult during Winter months. If there are no unusual hold ups, it can take between 12-16 weeks from start to finish to get a new broadband repeater up and running, but we will always give you a suggested timeframe when we discuss it with you.
Properties that are physically located in relatively close proximity to each other, have a better chance of receiving the best quality connectivity. If they are within a 20km radius or in the same valley they are more likely to have a good view of the repeater and therefore the best quality reception.
The size and location of the repeater depends on where those properties are. We usually put the wireless repeaters up on a high peak, and to ensure which peak is the best, we check maps and images of the terrain and even use Google Earth to calculate each potential site area by capturing properties within the range that would get the best potential repeater coverage.
Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly who will be able to be connected because of objects blocking the line of sight like trees and hills. Ultimately a clear line of sight from your home to the new tower is the best possible outcome to connect, but even if there is no line of sight, we still may be able to connect you with a bounce or another repeater from a woolshed or neighbouring property. We can explain more about this with you as a Community Champion, or at a community meeting if you think this might be required.
Once you’re connected, you’ll need to choose a broadband plan. Check out the plans we have available on our website, or give us a call and we can talk you through the options that might suit you best.
On top of your monthly invoice, there is a one-off installation fee of $249 inc GST for any standard installation to a household. This cost includes the installation of an Inspire Net subscriber unit (usually, but not always, on your roof) and supplying an Inspire Net WiFi router inside your house. The Inspire Net WiFi router is a device that we have tested to produce the best results when paired with an Inspire Net wireless connection and it remains the property of Inspire Net.
If your house is not considered to be a standard install, a higher complex installation fee may apply to cover additional costs for things such as additional radio units and extra cable, however we will discuss this with you before we start.
If you’re interested in becoming a Community Champion call our Helpdesk on 0800 484 363
Please note: connecting to Inspire Net depends on having a Line of Sight from your property to the wireless tower. We cannot guarantee a connection is available until we have undertaken a full feasibility study.