Kiwis who live in New Zealand cities generally enjoy good internet. The country has a relatively high internet penetration rate: in January 2021, 94% of the population (4.55 million users) were connected, up 1.9 percent from 2020. And the average speed of download connections was over 140 Mbps.That lets us achieve most of what we want to do online – email, e-commerce, business, social, voice and video calling, streaming music, movies and games. On average we each spend around 6 and a half hours using the internet every day.
Viewed as a whole, nationwide coverage and delivery look comfortingly solid, but if you live in rural New Zealand, the experience is anything but. People who live outside the city, in places like Coatesville (less than 30 km from Auckland CBD), get VDSL if they’re lucky. And the further from towns and cities you live, the worse your connection: “slow”, “unstable” and “expensive” ar the words they use. They want better.
If you can get fibre, good for you – you can stop reading now. But fibre will never be delivered to the door of every rural New Zealander. Rollout is simply too expensive.
ADSL offers a variety of speeds depending on your location. Some households get fast ADSL. That’s good. Some get very slow ADSL.
If you have slow (or no) ADSL, you can try 4G if you have line-of-sight to and are in range of a wireless tower. However, as many will freely tell you, 4G coverage is patchy and congested, and you are likely to experience a frustratingly unstable, unreliable, slow, contended internet connection, plagued by drop outs.
This often comes in the form of a cellular dish on your roof that connects with a nearby tower -- a ‘repeater site’. It has the same stability and congestion problems as fixed wireless 4G.
One thing we all share in New Zealand is a view of the sky. And if you can see the sky, you can get satellite broadband. Fast, affordable and reliable satellite broadband.
Satellite internet allows you to connect your computer and other devices to the internet via a satellite dish, which can be as small as 75cm in diameter. Your computer connects to the dish via a router and a modem. The dish sends signals to a satellite orbiting in space and then down to your internet provider (ISP) who connects you to the internet. There are no wires, cable or fibre between your dish and the internet: 100% wireless.
Until a year or so ago, satellite internet was delivered over slow and expensive Ku band, using cumbersome dishes and big expensive modems. Today’s high throughput satellites (HTS) deliver over Ka band. Dishes are smaller and easier to install, modems more compact and far less costly. And it’s much, much faster: HTS can achieve near-fibre speeds. If you can see the sky, you can connect.
The only satellite operator delivering a Ka band service in New Zealand is Kacific Broadband Satellites. Three powerful overlapping beams from its Kacific1 satellite cover the entire country, from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
Kacific’s fast, affordable broadband service is available through a network of partners, including Gravity Internet, which specialises in servicing rural customers. Gravity has been providing rural broadband since 2017 and was the first ISP to start connecting to Kacific1, when it began delivering a signal to New Zealand in January 2020. It now has customers throughout the country.
You can do almost all the things you can with fibre: email, e-commerce, business, social, voice and video calling, streaming music and movies – anything that requires lots of data.
Simply put, if you live in rural New Zealand, satellite technology can provide a viable, stable, fast, flexible and affordable way of getting broadband to your home, farm or business. Gravity Internet: powered by Kacific.