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Swain releases guide for rural internet users

Swain releases guide for rural internet users

The Communications Minister Paul Swain has released a new guide designed to help rural internet users deal with problems caused by interference from electric fences.

At the opening of the annual Fieldays event at Mystery Creek, Mr Swain released a brochure put together by a Ministry of Economic Development working group, that includes representatives from Federated Farmers, Telecom, and the electric fence industry.
The brochure outlines a Five-Step Electric Fence Check designed to overcome problems caused by poorly installed or maintained electric fences, which can cause loud clicks on phone lines or greatly reduce the speed and reliability of dial-up internet connections.

The theme of this year's Fieldays is e-farming, and Mr Swain said "good dial-up access to the internet is important to communities in rural and remote areas, where the speed and reach of the technology can be severely limited by electric fence interference."

"Having information and communications technology available to all New Zealanders is vital for our economic development, and the Government is committed to making sure that the infrastructure works well."

The Five-Step Check helps identify which electric fence is causing a problem, whether it requires maintenance such as the removal of overgrowth, and whether the layout of the fence needs to be reconfigured.

The Five-Step Check is based on a joint Australian and New Zealand Standard for electric fence installation, AS/NZS 3014:2003, which is also available on the website of Standards New Zealand. http://

Mr Swain said the new procedure will improve the speed and reach of internet access in rural areas, which is vital given the growing use of e-commerce by the farming sector.

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