Connectivity woes slow electronics business
Poor connectivity is cramping Alastair Frizzell’s style with no end in sight due to his reliance on an outdated copper connection which can’t keep up with his rapidly growing business.
His business, Frizzell Agricultural Electronics is based in Kirwee, a steadily growing township about 40 kilometres west of Christchurch.
Alastair started the business 15 years ago, and the company is on an impressive upward trajectory, unlike the available internet speed.
“Developing technology and the practicality of solar systems in agricultural and horticultural areas has allowed the business to expand at a healthy rate,” he says.
“But one of our major problems is poor internet connectivity. We have speeds of 15 to 5 MBS.
“This isn’t helping us with further growth and could cause major problems down the track.”
The business develops electronic agricultural equipment, solar pump systems, solar irrigation systems, weighbridges and water management tools designed to help agricultural/horticultural sectors conquer previously unfeasible tasks.
“We design and manufacture tools that can improve your farmers efficiency, conserve valuable resources and just make a busy day a little less complicated.”
A leader in its field, Frizzell products are designed to withstand the rigours of the harsh New Zealand agricultural and horticultural environment.
However, Alistair fears further business will be stymied by poor connectivity and by lack of political motivation to rectify the problems faced in rural areas.
“We are on the old slow copper connection,” Alastair says.
“We’ve been told there are no plans to provide us with fibre. Our business is likely to be constrained by inconsistent sluggish internet speeds if we cannot figure a cost-effective way around the problem.
“We’re not the only ones in this area with internet frustrations - modern dairy farmers need good internet connections, many have major problems running their farms because of poor speeds and service.”
Alastair feels like smaller rural settlements, such as Kirwee, are being left behind when it comes to accessing new digital technology.
“Cities and new developments are being given the opportunity to connect to high speed internet whilst the smaller rural developments like ours are being left behind.
“We are forgotten about despite the fact that the country relies on the agricultural sector for a larger proportion of its overseas income.”