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Inspire Net to offer EXTEND broadband services

Inspire Net To Offer Extend Broadband Services

Palmerston North-based Internet service provider Inspire Net has signed an agreement with Broadcast Communications Ltd (BCL) to become the first regional ISP to offer customers broadband services via BCL's EXTEND network.

Launched in November 2003, EXTEND is New Zealand's first nationwide broadband wireless access network. It brings the benefits of high-speed Internet access to thousands of farms, schools, homes and businesses in rural and provincial New Zealand for the first time.

Inspire Net Managing Director James Watts said Inspire Net plans to use the EXTEND broadband wireless access network to bring high-speed Internet to customers in Manawatu who are outside the reach of traditional fixed-line broadband.

"Broadband gives farms and businesses access to online tools that can make them more productive and profitable, so it's naturally something that lots of our customers want the option of having. Because EXTEND brings broadband to many rural areas for the first time, it opens up new opportunities for Inspire Net and our customers in the Manawatu," he says.

"Being able to offer broadband services over the EXTEND network means many of our rural customers who've previously had to make do with dial-up can now connect to high quality, high-speed internet," says Mr Watts.

BCL's Wharite Peak transmission tower provides EXTEND broadband wireless coverage to almost 60,000 potential subscribers in the Manawatu region. Nationwide, EXTEND's 28 transmission sites provide coverage to 600,000 potential subscribers, 100,000 of whom were unable to access broadband services before.

BCL Managing Director Geoff Lawson said BCL was delighted to have Inspire Net on board as a retailer of EXTEND broadband services. Mr Lawson said as well being the only broadband infrastructure available in many provincial and rural areas, EXTEND promotes competition as all telecommunications companies and Internet service providers can access the network based on the same terms and conditions.

Along with Inspire Net, BCL has agreements with Telecom, ICONZ and ihug to retail the EXTEND suite of broadband products and is in discussion with a range of other potential retail service providers.

About BCL

BCL, the state-owned wireless communications company, originated in 1925 and today provides broadcast transmission services to most national and regional FM radio stations and television broadcasters in New Zealand.

The company also runs the Wellington-based Marine Operations Centre on behalf of the Maritime Safety Authority and provides linking and co-location services to telecommunications providers including Telecom, TelstraClear and Vodafone.

About Inspire Net

Inspire Net was formed in 1998 to provide affordable Internet services to customers in the Manawatu region. Today Inspire Net is Manawatu's leading locally based ISP and provides nationwide Internet access, broadband connections and toll calling services.

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