Fibre Services Shine
Since September 2012, TrustPower has connected many businesses and homes to voice and broadband services by Ultrafast Broadband. One of the businesses is Tauranga's Sun Media, who can now deliver the news faster than ever.
When there's news in the western Bay of Plenty, chances are, a Sun Media reporter is one of the first on the scene. The privately owned company runs the highly successful news web site SunLive. The company produces the Weekend Sun newspaper, delivered free to 63,760 homes across the region; making it by far the largest circulating newspaper in the Western Bay of Plenty. Sun Media also publishes Coast and Country monthly, Waterline quarterly and New Farm Dairies annually.
TrustPower connected Sun Media to its Ultrafast Broadband service in late-2012. The technology has made a huge difference, both in the speed of getting news out, and in the company's operational efficiency.
"We have cameras that can transmit photos straight back to the office. Almost as soon as a reporter arrives at a news scene, we can have a story and photos on SunLive. We can have video news footage live within five minutes after editing," said Sun Media general manager Ross Brown. Reports can go live 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That currency helps SunLive to generate over 250,000 page hits a week, New Zealand's fourth most-visited news site.
The TrustPower Ultrafast Broadband connection has also transformed work on The Weekend Sun. The paper is laid-out in Tauranga, then uploaded to Auckland for printing. Each page file is up to 20MB, with up to 72 pages each issue, and deadlines are of course tight.
"With the new Ultrafast Broadband connection, the page uploading to Auckland is vastly improved. Each page uploads in less than a minute. That includes the large page file sizes, which in the past could take up to 10 minutes to upload and then several minutes extra to clear from the process folder," explained Sun Media's print production manager James Carrigan. "Since the upgrade, there have been no transfer crashes. We can upload two files at a time, and have multiple files cued up and ready to go."
"The speed is absolutely staggering," said Ross. "That gives our designers and production team a lot more space to do what they should be doing." It also enables higher-quality footage to be uploaded by SunLive, an important edge when items are regularly picked up by television and other news teams.
Ross was so impressed, he also had his home connected to TrustPower's ultrafast services (he's been a customer of TrustPower for over 30 years). His home was one of the first to be connected to Ultrafast Broadband and while there were a few set-up niggles, these were quickly resolved: "The customer service was unbelievably good. They'd always call you back. They were really committed to sorting it out." Ross likes the fact that he's dealing with people who, like Sun Media, have a strong commitment to the local community.
TrustPower released ultrafast residential and business voice and broadband services over the fibre network in September 2012. It's a collaboration with providers including Ultrafast Fibre Ltd, FX Networks, Transfield, local ICT providers and local PABX providers.
"The synergies of working with our partners has resulted in products of greater benefit to our customers. It's the next generation of voice and internet services," said TrustPower telecommunications business manager Peter Gregory.
TrustPower residential and business customers from as far north as Coromandel, and as far south as Reporoa now connect to our Ultrafast Broadband service, as do over 25 schools. "We plan to offer Ultrafast Broadband connectivity to customers in all areas nationwide where we have strong penetration or growth," said Peter.
The last year has seen TrustPower bundle its power, phone and broadband offering, with options to suit ADSL and fibre networks, and plans to suit different data needs. About 85% of residential customers are now on bundled services. A broadened offering of voice services was also launched for business customers.
"We also introduced quarterly analysis of data usage. Whenever another of our plans would be more appropriate, we let the customer know. This approach has had a marked effect on customer satisfaction, as they know we are helping them to get our best deal for their needs," said Peter.
TrustPower now provides more than 26,000 customers with over 43,000 phone and internet services. Over the last year, the number of customers grew by 10.5%, and the value of internet services grew by 15%. Looking ahead, targets include lifting revenue from voice and internet services from $23 million in FY2013 to over $50 million by FY2015.