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Local businessman behind Hahei JetStream upgrade

16 October 2003

MEDIA RELEASE

Local businessman behind Hahei JetStream upgrade

Residents of Hahei, one of New Zealand’s most scenic spots, will soon have access to the fast-Internet service JetStream thanks to the efforts of a local businessman.

Ron Egan, who runs an Internet marketing business, ensured the area will be upgraded to carry Telecom’s broadband Internet service in late October by rallying the community around the cause.

“I found out from the Thames Council that if the community could demonstrate a certain amount of interest in receiving JetStream, Telecom would look at a network upgrade.”

Mr Egan drummed up the required support by emailing a number of businesses and residents in the area, but admits there was a certain amount of initial scepticism within the community.

“It was a case of stick your hand up and prove there was the demand. Since we did that Telecom has been very accommodating,” he says.

The upgrade means that residents and businesses in the area will soon have access to JetStream, which has download speeds up to 50 times faster than a standard dial-up connection.

“It can be quite frustrating working on slow connections. At the moment we manage our business around that, but JetStream will be a definite improvement,” Mr Egan says.

Because JetStream is “always on”, users don’t need to dial-up every time they want to check an email or surf the web. It also lets users talk on the phone and use the Internet at the same time, meaning there’s no need to install a second phone line to avoid missing important calls while logged on to the Internet.

Telecom District Sales Manager Steve Mills says the Hahei upgrade is an excellent example of how Telecom is working with smaller communities to explore options for providing JetStream.

“The cost of upgrading an area like Hahei is significant, and without the specific detail Mr Egan gathered regarding how many people would commit to using JetStream if we upgraded the area, we would not have been able to proceed. It’s been a real win/win for both parties.”

The upgrade will benefit residents in the area in a number of other ways, Mr Egan says.

“People who are coming here to buy properties are asking if there is a JetStream connection available and now real estate agents can say, yes, there will be. People want to be able to work from home if need be and this upgrade will allow some of them to do that,” he says.

“With JetStream access, Hahei residents will at last have the same opportunity to benefit from technology as their counterparts in other regional areas.”

ENDS

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