Update 7 September 2021, 8:30AM
With the welcome news received yesterday that most of the country is moving to level 2 from Wednesday morning, we are returning to near normal working conditions on our rural network.
From Wednesday morning we will be recommencing normal installs, but will of course be wearing masks. During level 3 we have been carrying out installations via a zero touch format, focusing on getting customers online without the usual focus on aesthetics that would exist under ideal conditions. We will now concentrate on going back and rerouting cable runs and ensuring all jobs handled under level 3 are up to scratch.
Please note that a small number of locations we serve that sit just North of Bombay will not be subject to level 2 so we are unable to return to normal service in that area just yet.
Children go back to school from Thursday and getting back to the office becomes possible as well. With that in mind, we will revert to our standard unlimited off-peak data offer (that being midnight to 8am) for 150GB, 300GB, and 600GB plans at that time.
Update 27 August 2021, 4PM
Just a quick update to let our rural residential customers know that our offer of uncapped data between midnight and 5pm each day will continue as we move to level 3 in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.
We have been overwhelmed with the positive response to this initiative. Hearing from our customers how this offer has helped them provided a great boost for our team during these strange times.
This offer will remain in play while we remain in level 3, although please keep in mind that the same caveats mentioned in our last update continue to apply.
We will provide more updates as/when things change.
Update 24 August 2021, 2PM
To minimise the financial impact of lockdown, we are extending our standard unlimited data window (currently running from midnight to 8am each day) to run from midnight to 5pm during level 4 lockdown. This will take effect from midnight tonight.
This means that data used up until 5pm each day will not count towards your usage, enabling the kids to study and you to work without financial impact.
We will review this offer again at close of business on Friday 27th August as/when we learn the latest from the Government regarding lockdown levels and end dates.
A little disclaimer here – Any decision to extend this offer will also be based upon the impact any resulting user behaviour changes have on service performance. Rural networks are unique and complex beasts, so we need to balance service performance with service cost.
Please also note that any over usage charges already incurred month to date will need to apply due to the complexity involved and short time frames available.
Update 21 August 2021, 10AM
Lockdown saw a big jump in network load for most ISPs, and since many operators are sharing network stats, we don’t want to be left out.
The above graph is from our busiest BNG and shows PPPoE traffic going through this node the prior week (orange) and when lockdown kicked in (green). The traffic in this graph is virtually all from our rural residential network.
You can see traffic is up about 50% on normal levels.
This graph doesn’t represent all PPPoE services, but the other nodes show a similar story. the crazy thing is how much more data is being used during this lockdown than the last, it seems as though a lot of smart devices have been purchased and many home offices set up.
Transit services and internet connections provided as /31 (pretty much all business connections) aren’t included in this graph either, but they also saw a pretty big jump.
Update 19 August 2021, 5.30 PM
A number of properties have been connected today, with fantastic help provided by the clients we connected. The process is messier than we would like, but safety has to be the priority for all involved.
A very small minority of clients are possibly affected by issues related to congestion at this point. Work planned over the coming week will be adding fibre to high sites, and in some cases, building completely new towers to resolve any remaining issues.
Our support team is here to help, so if you are experiencing any issues please email us at email@example.com or call 0800 12 13 14.
Update 18 August 2021, 4 PM
Installers will start contacting customers again within 48 hours to reschedule installations. Installations will take a revised format as we can’t enter the premises, but we will do all we can to get you connected. As soon as lockdown is over we will carry out a revisit to handle any loose ends and ensure all installations are set up as per best practice.
Proactive scans of the network have shone a light on increased load on some sections of our rural network. Active traffic engineering and proactive site visits have been carried out today, so where lockdown allows, we doing our best to turn up the dial on capacity.
In summary, a minority of our customers may be having a slower online experience than usual, but please know that we are doing all we can to resolve this within the lockdown setting we find ourselves in.
Our support team is of course happy to help, so if you are experiencing any issues please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 12 13 14.
Update 17 August 2021
Our community now finds itself in lockdown again, so we want to give you a quick heads up about what that means for pending installations and how we will respond to faults.
The health of our customers and staff is our most important consideration in these times, but as a company performing an essential service we need to maintain operations in some form, so here is what we are going to do…
We will give ourselves 24 hours to assess risk within the business. This means that we will be working with all staff to understand their movements and potential exposure to sites of interest. We will then make a call on which activities can resume safely.
Pending installations will be postponed, and our install team will be calling affected customers to advise them of the necessary changes to dates/times.
Site faults affecting multiple customers will continue to be worked on to ensure at risk customers retain connectivity.
Customer faults will not be responded to with an in-person tech visit unless they meet the following conditions:
Our support team will continue to work, based from home, to support our customers remotely.
We will provide an additional update within 24 hours to let you know as the situation evolves.
Stay safe, and we’ll be in touch again soon.