Farmside passes 15,000 customers as rural New Zealand prioritises connectivity
June 4, 2020
Rural broadband provider Farmside has seen a 300% rise in new customers in the days following Moving Day on 1 June, as rural New Zealanders prioritise internet connectivity post COVID-19.
This follows a spike of Kiwis getting connected during COVID-19, when Farmside hit a record 15,000 customers with the majority connected to rural wireless broadband via the Rural Broadband Initiative, as well as fibre or satellite connections.
Jason Sharp, General Manager of Farmside, says: “Surpassing 15,000 customers cements our position as New Zealand’s leading rural broadband provider. This is a testament to our awesome Timaru-based team and our dedication to serving rural New Zealanders country-wide.
“We’ve been helping customers navigate the added strict COVID-19 related controls around Moving Day and during alert levels 3 and 4. Across the board we’re seeing increased numbers of New Zealanders looking to digital services for remote working, learning and entertainment.
“While I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, such as providing free unlimited data overnight for RBI customers and uncapped satellite access, there’s a long way to go to bridge the rural-urban divide as it’s incredibly important to us that country families have reliable access to the internet. We hope to do that via ongoing investment and collaboration with rural communities and government stakeholders.”
This follows an increase in RBI data usage of 74%, and satellite data up 35%, for Farmside rural customers during COVID-19 alert levels 3 and 4.
During lockdown, the rural broadband provider was able to continue connecting Kiwis remotely as well as prioritise essential work for those who required a physical installation.
One customer was Tangaroa Walker, who runs the Farm 4 Life video learning platform and Facebook page that delivers online education 24/7. In an online video Walker explains: “A while ago I posted about how bad my Wi-Fi connection was. Farmside came to the rescue, and I can now upload my content from my home when I used to have to drive down the road late at night to get online, which has made a massive difference to my life.”
Sharp adds: “I’m proud that we are supporting our rural communities to stay connected – including awesome New Zealanders like Tangaroa Walker and we were able to connect him during lockdown. Enabling Tangaroa to enrich the lives of his community remotely shows how important the internet and digital services are for the country.”
For more information about Farmside connectivity options, delivered in association with Vodafone NZ, please visit: www.farmside.co.nz.