Farmside News

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Latest News

Vodafone New Zealand completes transaction to acquire 70% stake in Farmside

News Release - Thursday 1st June 2017

Vodafone New Zealand Limited (Vodafone NZ) and TeamTalk Limited (TeamTalk) (NZX: TTK) today announced that they have completed a transaction enabling Vodafone NZ to acquire 70 per cent of the shares in BayCity Communications Limited for $10 million in cash.

BayCity Communications Limited and its wholly owned subsidiaries (trading as Farmside) own and operate TeamTalk’s rural broadband and satellite business. The transaction was overwhelmingly endorsed by TeamTalk shareholders at a Special Meeting held in Wellington on April 12, and builds on the longstanding relationship between the two companies.

Andrew Miller, TeamTalk Chief Executive said TeamTalk will continue to manage Farmside under a management contract.

“For Farmside’s rural broadband customers, it will be business as usual with the same exceptional service provided by the staff at Farmside’s Timaru-based office.

“Today’s settlement strengthens our relationship with Vodafone, a significant provider to rural New Zealand, and will enable Farmside to deliver enhanced services to rural communities.

“The successful conclusion to this acquisition enables TeamTalk to substantially reduce debt and fund our capital programme. The resulting lower financing costs further assist consideration to resume dividends in the calendar year 2018,” Andrew said.

Russell Stanners, Vodafone New Zealand Chief Executive said the partnership is a sign of the strength and depth of Vodafone’s commitment to rural New Zealand.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to deliver better outcomes for rural customers, to increase our presence in the rural broadband market and to utilise the skillsets of the two complementary companies working together to bring customers coverage where it matters most.

“The investment by Vodafone in Farmside further deepens the strategic relationship between ourselves and TeamTalk. There are other opportunities for us to partner, for instance sharing fibre including future upgrade and maintenance costs,” Russell added.

Vodafone is committed to delivering more customer benefits.

For further information, please contact:
Andrew Miller, TeamTalk Chief Executive
+64 27 458 4525 or amiller@teamtalk.co.nz

Kiri Coughlan, Vodafone External Communications Manager
+64 21 530 466 or kiri.coughlan@vodafone.com

Farmside opens up improved satellite access for remote rural communities

Rural broadband internet specialist Farmside is giving remote rural communities improved broadband coverage through an agreement with Australian telecommunications provider Optus.

General Manager Stuart Cooper said the agreement, which secures superior internet satellite access for New Zealand, would benefit up to 25,000 New Zealand homes, farms and businesses located in remote areas, where satellite is the only broadband solution.

“We are delighted to have signed this agreement, which will enable us to provide a faster satellite broadband service to Farmside customers throughout the country.”

“In those locations where satellite offers the only possible access to the internet, this improved access is a digital lifeline that will deliver increased data caps and improved speeds,” he said.

Farmside has offered customers in remote areas access to the internet by satellite for a number of years. Via this new agreement with Optus, that access will now be markedly upgraded.

Farmside will access Optus’ D2 satellite New Zealand focussed payload, which was launched in 2007. The satellite is stationed north-west of New Zealand at the 152 degrees East geostationary orbital location.

Farmside is using Gateway Teleport’s Satellite Earth Station facilities to provide services on Optus' D2 satellite. Located in Upper Hutt, Gateway Teleport was incorporated in December 2010 and is New Zealand's largest privately owned and operated Satellite Earth Station. Gateway Teleport is located in a seismically stable area, where a major bank has their disaster recovery location in close proximity.

Farmside is a subsidiary of NZX-listed New Zealand-owned and operated communications company TeamTalk Ltd, which purchased the Timaru-based company in December 2012.

Optus is part of Singtel, a company with more than 550 million mobile customers across Asia, Australia and Africa. Optus Satellite has the largest fleet of satellites servicing Australia and New Zealand, with 6 satellites currently in geostationary orbit. Optus satellites deliver TV, mobile telephone and broadband services across Australia and New Zealand.

For further information:

Stuart Cooper
General Manager
Farmside
027 243 7536
stuart.cooper@farmsideltd.co.nz

Farmside to offer rural 4G

Faster 4G internet is coming to parts of New Zealand previously denied access to the latest technology, and Farmside is happy to help roll it out.

"We are the leading rural supplier of 3G through the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) that gets in to some of the country's most hard-to-reach places. Now Farmside, through Vodafone, can offer this next generation technology in selected areas," says General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Stuart Cooper.

"It's a logical extension of the initial RBI programme to deliver a much faster rural broadband service with more data to reflect the significant increase in the data demand we are seeing from rural New Zealand.”

"Faster broadband comes on the heels of our recently launched Broadband and Phone service, which is proving especially popular and a useful addition to the suite of other products and solutions Farmside is offering to rural communities. We're excited to add yet another new service with more new services in development right now."

Mr Cooper says although the service is initially only available in some areas, the footprint will grow over time.

"We're really committed to getting faster broadband and access to better communications in our heartland communities, and we're proud to be part of delivering those."



For more information:

Stuart Cooper
General Manager, Sales and Marketing
Farmside
027 243 7536

Farmside rounds up top new talent

TeamTalk Media Release 12 November 2014

TeamTalk Managing Director David Ware is pleased to announce the appointment of two new senior managers at the Farmside telecommunications company based in Timaru.

Stuart Cooper has been appointed as Farmside’s new Sales and Marketing General Manager, while Robyn Mahon will take on the role of Product Manager.

“We’re delighted to have recruited two people of such calibre for our Farmside operation,” Mr Ware says.

Stuart will be known to many in the New Zealand rural community, having worked with PGG Wrightson for 17 years in a number of senior management roles.

Robyn has most recently completed a fixed term contract with Chartered Accountants ANZ (formerly NZICA) and before that was a product and marketing manager for Telecom New Zealand.

“Both these new senior personnel bring a wealth of experience to their roles and I expect they’ll help cement Farmside as New Zealand’s leading rural communications company,” Mr Ware says.

Farmside provides broadband as well as other telecommunications services to some of the country’s most hard-to-reach areas.

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Contact: David Ware
Phone: 0800 101-900

First households on Chatham Islands sign up for faster Internet

TeamTalk Media Release 17 October 2014

A significant milestone in the plan to deliver faster internet to more New Zealanders - even in the most remote parts of the country.

The first Chatham Islands households are being signed-up this week, as the project to provide the whole community with better, fair-priced, fixed (DSL) and wireless broadband takes a big step forward.

"Islanders have been waiting for their turn. We're pleased it has finally arrived," says TeamTalk Managing Director David Ware.

The Government is providing $2.48m of funding to improve telecommunications to the Islands as part of its Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), signing a contract with TeamTalk and its wholly owned subsidiary, Farmside, in April.

Already, three of five service areas are live. The last two, Owenga Township and Pitt Island, are expected to be online in about a month.

Two of the three schools on the Islands, the hotel and the Council offices are all online using the new services and the first new user, Te One School (the largest on the Chathams), went live in early September.

"We've learned from our experience providing reliable telecommunications to other remote areas that this stuff has to be built tough, and it has to be durable. That's why we've been progressively adding some of the bigger users over the past month or so.

"The feedback we're getting is good, and it's pleasing to be able to start offering services to people in their private homes," Mr Ware says.

Chatham Islanders who want to sign-up for faster broadband can contact Farmside by calling 0800 32 76 74 or email contact@farmside.co.nz

Contact: David Ware Phone: 0800 101-900

Remote South Westland gets faster broadband

News release - TeamTalk Group 10 June 2014

Residents in Haast township, Hannahs Clearing, Jackson’s Bay and Neils Beach in South Westland are about to get broadband connection speeds that rival those available in urban parts of New Zealand. The new wireless broadband service will deliver significantly better telecommunications services for local schools, businesses, residents and tourists.

The project funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has been delivered by Farmside, part of the TeamTalk Group of companies.

“TeamTalk and Farmside are committed to providing rural New Zealanders with the best possible broadband service. This is an example of us proving to New Zealand that when the community, MBIE and Farmside get together there is no reason why small isolated rural communities can't get city quality broadband at city prices,” TeamTalk Group’s chief executive David Ware says.

“The government plans to invest an additional $150,000, which will be at least matched by TeamTalk, to support the construction of a microwave link between these South Westland communities and the rest of the telecommunications network.

“Affordable, fast, reliable internet access will deliver significant economic, educational, health and social benefits for the South Westland area, as well as being used by the hundreds of people who visit and enjoy this area each year,” David Ware says.

For further information contact
Nick Lourantos, General Manager, Araneo Limited
Phone: 021 439 482
Email: nick.lourantos@araneo.net.nz

Celebrations to mark the 1000th RBI customer

Farmside Media Release 25 February 2014

Rural businesses and residents of Levin celebrated the roll out of high speed internet today, with Farmside signing up its 1000th customer to fixed wireless rural broadband under the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).

Local business people Gary and Maria Pearson, of 'Yard Art' in Levin, were thrilled to be the lucky 1000th connection.

Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries and MP for Otaki joined Farmside and Vodafone in a celebration at Farmside customer Gary and Maria Pearson's business in Levin.

Bringing high speed internet to rural areas of New Zealand is critical for the country’s economic future, says the Hon Nathan Guy.

The RBI shows the Government understands the challenges in connecting rural and provincial areas to better broadband. The RBI will see 87% of rural New Zealand able to access higher speed internet, either through fixed wireless or fixed line service that is reliable, efficient and cost effective.

David Ware, Managing Director of TeamTalk, Farmside's parent company, explained that Farmside is the top provider for the RBI in terms of fixed wireless connections.

“We are really excited to be working with Vodafone to connect rural customers to fixed wireless broadband as the RBI is rolled out nationwide over the next few years," says David.

But it is the customers who are the real winners. "Internet connection is crucial to our business, it's fantastic to have access to fixed wireless broadband in Levin now," says Gary.

"We have a business website that generates lots of orders, plus all our banking is done online, so it's really important to us to have broadband. And we discovered that Farmside was cost competitive, so we're very very happy."

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Further information: Gretchen Leuthart, 021 746 873
"Farmside is New Zealand’s leading rural connectivity specialist, with more than 15,000 rural customers. Rural New Zealand’s broadband internet specialist, Farmside provides fast broadband via Satellite, RBI Fixed Wireless and Fixed Line solutions, as well as phone and mobile access."

New Addition to the Farmside Herd

TeamTalk Media Release 4.15pm, 11 July 2013

Farmside has appointed Peter Roborgh to the newly created role of General Manager where he will be responsible for all of the customer facing activities.

Peter’s career to date includes stints growing the successful South Island Telco businesses Pulse Business Solutions and CallSouth. “It’s an exciting time for Farmside and it’s great to have an executive of Peter’s calibre leading the push” says Managing Director David Ware.

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For more information contact:

David Ware
Managing Director
TeamTalk Limited
0800 101 900

Appointment of Directors & New Officers

TeamTalk Media Release 1:15pm, 21 Dec 2012 | DIRECTOR

Pursuant to Listing Rule 10.8.1 TeamTalk makes the following disclosures in relation to changes in directors and officers as a result of the recently completed acquisition of the Farmside Group.

Steven Murray has been appointed a director of TeamTalk Limited. Pursuant to Listing Rule 3.3.3 the Board has determined that Steven is not an Independent Director.

The following people have all been appointed as directors of BayCity Communications Limited. David Ware (Chairman), Reg Barrett, Geoff Davis, Derek Locke, Steven Murray and Barry Payne.

The two senior executives within the Farmside Group, who are thus defined as officers, are Richie Smith (CEO) and Ron Goodfellow (COO).

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For more information contact:

David Ware
Managing Director
TeamTalk Limited
0800 101 900

TeamTalk Confirms Settlement of Farmside Group Acquisition

TeamTalk Media Release 8:46am, 18 Dec 2012 | ASSET

TeamTalk Limited is delighted to announce that the acquisition of 100% of the shares of BayCity Communications Limited (which, together with its subsidiaries is referred to as the Farmside Group) was completed late yesterday.

Following shareholder approval for the acquisition at a Special Meeting on December 11th there were a number of further conditions to satisfy before the transaction went unconditional. These have now all been satisfied.

TeamTalk's Managing Director, David Ware, commented "This is an exciting development for TeamTalk. Farmside is a great company and we look forward to help develop their growth plans over coming years."

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For more information contact:

David Ware
Managing Director
TeamTalk Limited
0800 101 900

Results of Special Meeting

TeamTalk Media Release 1:32pm, 11 Dec 2012 | MEETING

TeamTalk Limited is pleased to announce that at a Special Meeting of Shareholders held this morning its shareholders voted in favour of the resolutions required to enable it to proceed with the acquisition of all of the shares in BayCity Communications Limited which, together with its wholly owned subsidiaries comprises the Farmside Group Details of the proposed acquisition were set out in the Notice of the Special Meeting previously sent to shareholders.

Joe Pope, the Chairman of the Board, expressed the Company's gratitude for the overwhelming support of shareholders. Settlement of the proposed acquisition is still anticipated to occur on 14 December 2012.

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For more information contact:

David Ware
Managing Director
TeamTalk Limited
0800 101 900

TeamTalk Sets Sights on Farmside

TeamTalk Media Release 11:08am, 2 Nov 2012 | ASSET

NZX listed company TeamTalk Limited announced today that it has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to buy 100% of BayCity Communications Limited. BayCity Communications of Timaru is New Zealand's leading dedicated rural ISP and telecommunications provider principally through its Farmside operation.

"At our recent AGM in Wellington I advised shareholders that we were looking at buying another business. Today's announcement outlines our intention," TeamTalk's Managing Director David Ware said.

TeamTalk proposes acquiring 100% of Farmside using cash and shares. The purchase is conditional on TeamTalk shareholder approval. A special meeting of TeamTalk shareholders will be held in mid-December with settlement planned shortly thereafter.

"The purchase is an opportunity to grow both businesses by building on what each does best. TeamTalk brings its wireless expertise and investment capital and Farmside brings its satellite business, ISP know how, a rural focus and consumer marketing capabilities" David Ware said.

"Both TeamTalk and Farmside are strong niche operators in New Zealand's competitive telecommunications environment."

The upfront purchase price is $31 million with an earn out based on company performance over the next two financial years. This earn out could raise the total price paid to $42.05 million. In the 12 months to June 2012, BayCity had revenue of $25.4 million and EBITDA of $5.8 million.

"TeamTalk is a progressive but cautious business. We have a strong track record of success based on providing excellent customer satisfaction and shareholder value," David Ware said "I'm confident our shareholders will see value in this acquisition and we look forward to welcoming the Farmside staff and customers to TeamTalk. We intend to continue to operate the business from Timaru and expect that it will be very much business as usual in all respects."

Conditional Acquisition Of The Farmside Group By TeamTalk

TeamTalk Media Release 11:06am, 2 Nov 2012 | ASSET

TeamTalk Limited has today entered into a conditional Share Sale Agreement with all of the shareholders of BayCity Communications Limited for the acquisition by TeamTalk of all of the shares in BayCity (referred to as "the Farmside Group Shares")

read more...

Leading New Zealand Rural Telecoms Provider Builds IP Communications On Metaswitch

Farmside Media Release - June 2012

"CommunicAsia, Singapore, June 19, 2012 – Metaswitch Networks, a global supplier of next generation telecom infrastructure and applications, today announced that it will provide a switch migration solution to New Zealand’s leading rural telecoms provider, Farmside. A subsidiary of Bay City Communications, Farmside will benefit from a Metaswitch solution that cost-effectively provides their customers with enhanced communication applications on both IP and TDM connections."

Ron Goodfellow, chief operating officer at Farmside, said: “The increasing demand from our customers for speedier and more sophisticated communications meant it was important for us to have an intelligent network service architecture in place. With their proven expertise and leadership in delivering Class 5 migration solutions, Metaswitch was an obvious choice for us. The company’s logical approach to integrating both legacy and IP communications gives Farmside a platform that not only allows us to migrate customers sensibly, but also provides significant cost savings, advanced applications and scalability for the future.”

The turnkey solution includes the MetaView network management platform that simplifies service provider functions with sophisticated provisioning, monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities, and the high performance Perimeta session border controller”

“Farmside not only adds to Metaswitch’s continued growth in the APAC region, they reflect our shared company values – delivering the latest in innovative communications applications to customers that are keen to leverage the user-experience and commercial benefits of advanced technology,” said Dave Ashby, vice president at Metaswitch.

Metaswitch will be participating at CommunicAsia2012 at the Marina Bay Sands from June 19 – 22, stand: 1D2-07. On display will be solutions for Class 5 switch migration, session border control, hosted business services/PBX and service management.

Metaswitch Networks
Metaswitch Networks is a leading provider of the software that powers a whole new generation of communications services, and the solutions that fuel the rapid migration to all-IP architectures. Hundreds of network operators worldwide defend, extend and brand their business by building on Metaswitch to deliver a reliable, scalable, and immersive communications experience. For more information, please visit www.metaswitch.com.

Farmside Signs New Deal With IPSTAR

Farmside Media Release - December 2011

"Farmside, New Zealand's leading satellite telecommunications provider announced today it has signed a new deal with satellite provider IPSTAR which will result in cheaper and faster internet for New Zealanders."

"Farmside CEO Richie Smith said 'Farmside has secured increased and faster capacity from IPSTAR which will deliver more competitive high speed broadband to New Zealand'."

Farmside currently services some 13,000 customers, predominately focusing on rural New Zealand. Our new arrangement with IPSTAR means we can provide an even more competitive service - with faster and cheaper broadband to households across New Zealand.

“We know the roll out of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is many years away for many communities. With satellite, rural customers can enjoy the same benefits now as urban New Zealanders today.”

ENDS
For more information contact:

Richie Smith
Chief Executive, Farmside
Tel: 03 687 9702

Farmside's Call Centre Wins National Customer Service Award

Farmside Media Release - 6 September 2011

"Rural telco Farmside has won the Telecommunications and Internet Services section of the 2011 CRM Contact Centre Awards. The awards, which recognise excellence in the standards of service delivered by New Zealand call centres, were announced last Friday night in Auckland at an event that has come to be recognised as the “customer service Oscars.”

Farmside’s Sales and Support manager Grant Husband says his team are absolutely delighted with their win which he believes is a reflection of Farmside’s ‘real person’ service.

“Our customers are based in rural areas from Cape Reinga to Bluff ‐ they don’t want to deal with someone who hasn’t a clue about their situation. We’re very focused on delivering down‐to-earth service backed by solid rural knowledge, so they know they’re in good hands. It’s proving a winning combination both for our customers and us.”

The awards were introduced to New Zealand in 1997 and feature anonymous audit of such factors as response times, friendliness, product knowledge and ability to resolve enquiries by phone as well as email.

2011 is the fourth year that Farmside has participated in the awards and has placed in the top three in the Telecommunications and Internet Services section each previous year.

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For more information contact:

Grant Husband
Sales and Support Manager, Farmside
DDI: (03) 6879704

Farmside Launches New Mobile Phone Service

Farmside Media Release - 14 July 2011

Rural telco Farmside has launched a new mobile phone service that complements the company’s existing broadband and home line services and effectively positions Farmside as a one‐stop shop to meet rural communications needs.

Delivered using the Vodaphone platform, Farmside Mobile will capitalize on the extended coverage resulting from new cellphone towers that are to be constructed as part of the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative.

Farmside Chief Executive Richie Smith says the introduction of its new mobile service is a logical progression for the company.

“We’re in the business of providing cost‐effective communications solutions to those who live and work in rural locations. Farmside Mobile fits alongside our satellite, wireless and fixed‐line broadband and voice products to enable us to provide a complete suite of telecommunications services ‐ all geared to help put New Zealand’s rural households, farms and businesses on an equal footing with those in urban areas.”

With plans starting from $19 per month, the new mobile service is competitively priced and specifically targeted to support rural users. Features include free calls to other Farmside mobiles, and options to bundle broadband, phone line and mobile services in a single package that can be charged through rural supply accounts.

A key draw card is the ability to combine with Farmside’s broadband and/or phone line services and gain interchangeable free airtime, discounted pricing and the convenience of a single monthly account for telecommunications charges. Customers will also be able to tailor‐make packages that reflect the peaks and troughs of their activity by adding on text, calling and data packs to suit their needs on a month to month basis.

As with other mobile providers Farmside Mobile allows customers to bring their existing mobile phone number across to its new platform.

The new mobile service is being progressively rolled out around the country, commencing with Farmside’s existing broadband and home line customers.

ENDS
For more information contact:

Richie Smith
Chief Executive, Farmside
Tel: 0800 327674

Farmside Welcomes Progress With Roll Out of Rural Broadband

Farmside Media Release - 20 April 2011

Farmside CEO, Richie Smith has welcomed today’s announcement that the government has reached agreements with Telecom and Vodafone for the roll out of the rural broadband initiative. Farmside will be working closely alongside the two telcos as the new infrastructure rolls out over the next six years.

“It is certainly a long‐awaited development for New Zealand’s rural communities,” said Mr Smith. “Farmside is a strong advocate that all New Zealanders should have the opportunity to use fast, cost‐effective and reliable internet regardless of where they live, so this is a positive step in that direction.”

Mr Smith noted that Farmside’s satellite and wireless broadband solutions are available to rural communities right now, and the company’s customer base reflects the substantial demand for high speed internet access in communities throughout New Zealand.

“We have reassured our customers that as and when the new infrastructure delivers them access to a faster and more economical broadband connection, we will swap them on to the new service at no charge.”

ENDS
For more information contact:

Richie Smith
Chief Executive, Farmside
Tel: 0800 327674

Satellite Broadband Helps Christchurch Businesses

Farmside Media Release - 16 March 2011

A telecommunications plan that offers an interim satellite alternative for broadband and internet phone access is helping Christchurch businesses get up and running in the wake of the quake.
Farmside, New Zealand’s leading satellite broadband provider, has launched a temporary internet and internet‐phone package specifically to assist businesses get back on their feet; delivering essential business tools like email and voice/telephone services without the need for a phone line. The service is guaranteed to be operational within the space of three days.

For many Christchurch organisations, getting their business back on‐line following last month’s devastating earthquake has been a frustrating process ‐ particularly so, when access to the internet is vital to business operations.

Hairy Lemon, an on‐line digital agency whose premises are currently off‐limits in the CBD “red zone”, managed to find new space to accommodate their 30 staff in Hornby but struck a major stumbling block with securing a broadband connection. “We’d made good progress with setting up the office infrastructure,” says co‐founder Graham Dockrill, “but we faced a delay of another two to three weeks with traditional telcos to install a broadband internet service suitable for our business needs. When the internet is the diesel that runs your business, the opportunity cost of being offline for that long is huge.”

Farmside’s interim satellite broadband plan had Hairy Lemon’s business back on‐line in less than 72 hours. “We’ve very quickly gone from a barely adequate situation, with our people working remotely from home offices all over Christchurch, to being fully operational” says Dockrill. “It’s just fantastic to be back in business.”

Although Farmside’s Christchurch Business plan is being promoted as a temporary measure to help businesses resume operations while the traditional telecommunications infrastructure is under pressure, Chief Executive Richie Smith notes that it underlines the value of a satellite contingency plan for businesses that are reliant on broadband. “When a business depends on reliable, high speed internet to maintain service to customers, a back‐up satellite plan makes a lot of sense.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Christchurch Technology company, Information Leadership, which operates its business as a virtual workplace with staff located across the country. When the earthquake struck, the Christchurch headquarters lost power, phone and its vital internet link.

“The satellite intranet provided by Farmside at our management team’s new rural location, has meant no loss of service to staff or customers even though we’re now located a long way from fixed broadband,” says Grant Margison, a director of Information Leadership. “The reliable nature of the satellite internet means we can use tools like Skype to work with colleagues remaining in Christchurch as well as in Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton, helping to reduce our telecommunications costs and making it easier to stay connected.”

ENDS
For more information contact:

Richie Smith
Chief Executive, Farmside
Tel: 0800 327674

Farmside Supplies Vital Communications Link in Christchurch Search & Rescue

Farmside Media Release - 9 March 2011

Farmside, New Zealand’s leading satellite telecommunications provider, is supplying a vital link to internet services for the hundreds of personnel deployed in the Canterbury earthquake search and rescue effort located inside Latimer Square. International search and rescue teams have been able to swiftly relay and co‐ordinate information from search sites using Farmside’s mobile satellite platform to produce a wireless network ‐ which the company and its satellite partner IPStar are providing free of charge in support of the emergency response.

Farmside Chief Executive Richie Smith said that its wireless network was up and running at Latimer Square in the central city within three hours of a request from NZ Fire Service. “In the absence of a traditional phone line infrastructure we were able to very quickly establish a comprehensive communications system that meets the needs of the emergency response teams for reliable, high speed access to email, the web and related services.”

Across town in Halswell, Farmside’s mobile satellite system has underpinned the largest search and rescue event ever undertaken by LandSAR New Zealand. Over a five day period last week some 500 LandSAR volunteers responded to a request from the Christchurch Emergency Operations Centre to check all residences in west Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. At their headquarters on the Halswell Domain a portable IPStar satellite system supplied by Farmside was used to provide access to on‐line mapping and other vital web‐based information services as well as email and VOIP telephone services. The satellite service at the Halswell base camp also supported an internet café which was established so that field team members could access on‐line services including Skype when they returned each evening, enabling the volunteers drawn from throughout the country to maintain contact with their homes and workplaces.

“Our ability to access the internet independent of any land based services such as the cellular network or land lines was crucial to the project,” said Alan Thompson, LandSAR IPStar Project Manager. “LandSAR was able to establish internet services for its operation in a matter of minutes without any need to connect into local services which were already under enormous pressure. The portable satellite system operated faultlessly throughout the operation, delivering continuous service at a time when assured communications support was absolutely vital.”

The New Zealand Army and the New Zealand Fire Service have previously made use of Farmside’s mobile satellite high‐speed broadband and phone connections during the response to both the Canterbury earthquake in September 2010 and the Pike River mine tragedy.

To help local businesses get back on their feet post‐quake, the company has just announced a Canterbury business package offering an interim satellite alternative for broadband and internet phone access.

Farmside’s mobile auto acquisition satellite antenna system, iNetVu delivers secure, high‐speed Internet access from virtually anywhere on the planet. With the push of a button, the iNetVu automatically unfolds, locates the appropriate satellite, locks on to a signal, and establishes a connection —all within minutes of deployment, and all without relying on traditional terrestrial infrastructure. When combined with IPStar satellite broadband, the iNetVu platform is able to deliver a high speed Internet connection to virtually any location in New Zealand. With download speeds of up to 4Mbps and upload speeds of 2Mbps users can quickly enable a full suite of communications links quickly and at times or locations where no other form of telecommunications can be delivered.

ENDS
For more information contact:

Richie Smith
Chief Executive, Farmside
Tel: 0800 327674