Lightwire rural network upgrades improving speeds and reliability

08/11/2017

Lightwire rural internet users can expect continual improvements in speed and reliability of their fixed wireless internet. We are continuing to invest heavily in ongoing optimisation and upgrades of our rural network.

In July 2017, we announced a large-scale, long-term project to access, optimise and upgrade Lightwire rural broadband sites. We have over 200 sites across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, so this is a massive undertaking. The project involves all teams within the business, including the Network Operations Center (NOC), Field Technicians and Customer Care Teams.

A couple of months into the project, we’ve made great progress in assessing sites’ performance and optimising them accordingly. We’ve also trialled next generation technologies and have begun upgrading our wireless network and customers’ services identified as operating on older equipment.

Our network assessments involve canvassing a wide variety of components that make up Lightwire connections, which includes evaluations on obtainable service speeds and bandwidth, power redundancy on hilltop network sites, and backhaul network capacity. This helps us target areas in need and aids us in determining the best place to deploy new hardware or different technologies.

From trialling next generation wireless technologies, we have found the Ubiquiti Networks® AC series is the most effective in enabling us to provide Lightwire users with a fast and reliable connection. In particular, Ubiquiti Networks® AC series allows us to leverage state-of-the-art technology, such as GPS synchronisation technology, which aids our engineers to operate our network more efficiently. In the wild-west of spectrum interference territory, this technology offers benefits to service efficiency, stability and reach.

We’re deploying new Ubiquiti® AC technology over our rural network, beginning with the older equipment inherited from our acquisition of the ISP NetSmart. This includes access points on more than 20 rural broadband sites, as well as the radios and routers of hundreds of users. These upgrades are free of charge, as part of our commitment to ensuring all Lightwire rural users experience optimal internet speeds and reliability.