Making rural broadband out of thin air

New Zealand is full of them, people that are prepared to pull up their socks and say, “stuff it, I’m going to sort this.”


At Lightwire we see these people all the time. They have a problem, that being that they have no broadband at their property, and they have decided they are going to do something about it. These people are fantastic to deal with as they are motivated and determined, and together, we get great results like this one.

te kuiti - making rural broadband out of thin air

The picture above is of a new repeater site we have just built near Mangatea Road in Te Kuiti, built after a local contacted us and volunteered to become a champion for their community so that collectively they could gain access to fast and reliable broadband, and even better, this champion’s hard work saw Lightwire deploy this repeater tower free of charge.

So how does it work?

We call this type of deployment an AP Repeater, it is designed for use at sites where we need to provide coverage to a small geographical area with very low population density. When built, these towers are no more than five metres tall and designed to support two  200W solar panels. In some cases, where there’s a pre-existing building at the most desirable tower location (such as a workshop or barn), we have co-located on the building’s rooftop. We always prefer to use mains power to support the equipment, but where that isn’t possible, solar will still get us the required result.

How much does an AP repeater cost?

If you have a great community champion that can get 10 customers to commit to one of the plans listed at , we will deploy this tower free of charge. If you can go even further and get 15 customers to commit to an ongoing Lightwire internet plan, we will deploy a full tower build free of charge, which would provide even greater speeds and levels of reliability.


If you just don’t have that many properties around you, don’t worry. The total one-off cost for one of these AP repeaters is $6,000 ex GST, so as long as you and your friends are able to split that cost between you, we are still good to go.


Do you have a tricky rural broadband situation?

Please get in touch by sending an email to, we will then get in touch to come and have chat and scope the location.

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