Celebrations to mark the 1000th rural broadband customer

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."