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27Jul

Ultimate Broadband reveals latest total connectivity package for rural clients

Ultimate Broadband reveals latest total connectivity package for rural clients
Words by Niamh McCarthy

“Connected Farm” is Ultimate Broadband’s new service and it promises to take on farm Internet connectivity to a whole new level. Owner Mike Smith is excited about this new package and believes it will make life a lot easier for his many rural clients. “It’s a simple concept, we know networks, we can build them well and once we have a great connection and network established, we can make all your devices talk to one another and we’ll manage it for you.” Essentially Ultimate Broadband will be the hub of the farm and the various spokes that run from the hub will be various communication systems operating on farm for example security, irrigation, health and safety or pasture data. “These days all systems are cloud based so if we can get everything talking to the cloud in one seamless system that effectively for the farm owner means a single one off network build cost and a small monthly admin fee to manage all the systems.”

The idea evolved when the company were noticing customers frequently having issues with various systems on farm interfering with one another and causing problems. “Often you get security companies installing cameras on properties, they have great expertise with cameras but don’t know much about wireless and their gear is running off the same frequency as the Internet and suddenly you get poor performance and all sorts of problems. What we want to do is build a great network and run it well and let other companies install their devices on our network so it runs at maximum efficiency with no hassle for the client. Then when there is a problem there is just one point of call.” A small monthly admin fee ensures Mike and his team are on call if any issues occur “anything that is connected to our network we can manage it and see how it is operating, and any problems we can fix. “

The company is already talking to electrical and security firms plus a host of other potential partners to get on board and be part of the Ultimate Broadband connectivity hub. Mike however is happy to work with any supplier of choice with his customers as for him it’s all about building a high speed efficient network “if there’s existing supplier relationships let us talk to those companies and once we have a good network up and running anything is possible for clients.”

Connected Farm not only promises efficiency but also is a cost effective solution for rural clients. Irrigation and other real time systems all operate via devices that apart from the obvious connectivity issues incur monthly fees and data use charges all on separate accounts. Connected Farm offers one monthly bill for all connected devices on the network, an additional saving is offered if you purchase your broadband from UBB. Depending on your requirements there will be different service level options available with plans, “these days restoration time for internet is critical and based on your budget and needs we will have a range of assistance levels available,” Mike explains. An additional option is offering a full Internet service for staff on other properties on the farm that is operated and managed by UBB on the same connectivity hub. “It’s essentially a two phase package, total farm connectivity for devices and then bringing staff dwellings onto the network.” As official partner in Canterbury for the Rural Broadband Initiative 2 the company is very busy upgrading and expanding their rural coverage and in particular Mike is keen for the improvements to be ready before the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year so customers streaming the games have ultra fast connection.

UBB specialise in bringing connectivity to remote rural areas and Mike is confident he can offer solutions to most farms. Where there is no mobile coverage they can create wireless hotspots around the farm using long range wireless systems and can also build solar power repeaters on farm which are completely off grid “solar power repeaters can often last between 10-20 years so it’s a great long term investment.” Mike is also aware that the demand for real-time data is growing, especially with farmers being off site more and technologies evolving so quickly “ real-time information is becoming increasingly important and Connected Farm offers our customers a head start on the trend, we’re gathering specialist people together on one platform and the client will get a fantastic service.”

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