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JetStream boost for genetic endeavour

JetStream boost for genetic endeavour

Hawke’s Bay livestock breeders Rissington Breedline says access to fast-Internet services has revolutionised its business and enabled it to retain its rural roots.

Telecom upgraded Rissington’s closest telephone exchange late last year to enable its broadband service JetStream, in response to demand from the rurally-based company.

Managing Director Jeremy Absolom says Telecom’s commitment to extending broadband to provincial and rural New Zealand is important for the competitiveness of the rural sector in an increasingly electronic business world.

“We’ve been doing business from this site for about six years and it’s been getting harder and harder to work off a dial-up connection. Without JetStream it would have meant having to move some or all of our office to town in the near future.”

Rissington Breedline sells seed stock and genetics in the form of breeding bulls, rams, embryos and semen to sheep and cattle producers in New Zealand and overseas. It works with 13 breeding partners throughout the country, all of which send in livestock data for processing, either uploading it directly to the company’s website or emailing it as a data file.

Mr Absolom says JetStream’s speed means the job of downloading and processing data now takes a fraction of the time.

“JetStream is very important to us because we collect and process a lot of data on animals from our partners. What used to take three to four hours now takes about half an hour.

“It’s just amazing. Staff used to go away and boil the jug while they waited, now they don’t have time to leave the desk.”

JetStream Full Speed has download speeds up to 50 times faster than a standard dial-up connection. It also uses technology allowing voice and data traffic to pass simultaneously across a single telephone line, meaning users can use the Internet and talk on the phone at the same time.

Telecom Eastern Central Area Sales Manager Wayne Baird says the Rissington upgrade is a great example of Telecom working with businesses to extend broadband services into rural areas where there is sufficient demand.

“We take the telecommunications needs of our rural customers very seriously. Rissington Breedline told us they needed broadband access to remain viable in their current location so we solved their problem with JetStream.

“Broadband access is integral to the livelihood of New Zealand business and we are excited to be doing our part in supporting business and growth in Hawke’s Bay.”

Telecom has allocated more than $1.1 million to upgrade Hawkes Bay exchanges in the year to June 2004, extending access to its JetStream fast-Internet service to about 95 per cent of businesses and 86 per cent of residents in Hawke’s Bay. A key driver for this has been the PROBE broadband initiative, which aims to connect all New Zealand schools to broadband.

In addition to Rissington, businesses and residents in Waipawa, Waimarama, Clive, Haumoana, Maraekakaho, Okawa, Bay View and Wairoa are also set to benefit from the investment.

Broadband has fundamentally altered the way staff can operate with technology, Mr Absolom says.

“It’s had the same effect as automating a manual job. It did feel like a manual job before but with JetStream we can download data and process it as quickly as we can work.” Broadband has the potential to revolutionise rural business, he adds.

“The benefits of rolling out broadband to rural New Zealand are immeasurable. It’s going to unlock the gates.”

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