Central north island fibre provider Ultrafast Fibre (UFF) will continue to meet customers’ needs as the country enters the Government’s COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
As a critically essential communications utility, UFF has put measures in place to prioritise fault restoration and get priority new connections installed significantly faster by deploying one-visit install techniques wherever possible.
UFF serves 145,000 customers across 35 towns and cities with many of these customers being essential businesses and organisations remaining open to provide key services during the lockdown.
UFF CEO John Hanna says “Our business is ready to meet the requirements of our customers achieving and then maintaining access to the fast, reliable and consistent broadband services that will be vital during this unprecedented lockdown period”.
“Our top priority will continue to be the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, our customers and our technicians alongside keeping the UFB network fully operational at this crucial time for communications,” says Mr Hanna.
The company has ensured that all technicians attending faults and installing the fibre have been well-drilled in the required health and safety protocols when visiting customer premises, and also that its own staff can service customers remotely.
Capacity for new connections is not an issue with the company comfortably able to manage demand at this time and is prioritising new connectivity for premises housing essential service providers as defined by the Government’s criteria. This includes supporting the Government’s initiative to provide connectivity to the families with school-aged children who currently live without internet access so they can continue their learning.
“Every customer who wants to be connected and provides themselves and our workers safe access to their premises will be connected,” says Mr Hanna
Data capacity on the network is not an issue. Yesterday, the UFF network witnessed a 20% increase in data usage from just a week ago, and with that record-breaking data use, Mr Hanna maintains the UFF network is ready to cope with practically any new level of data demand, and a significant increase in data consumption is possible. “We absolutely understand that our UFB network is a critically essential communications utility. And we are not underestimating the role we play in keeping New Zealanders connected to their work, learning, leisure, and loved ones during these extraordinary times.”
Mr Hanna says UFF is also in talks with other industry players to explore how additional support can be provided in the days ahead: “I am confident there are many of us ready and willing to step up to provide assistance, to support our communities where we can.”
A customer information section is being set up on the UFF website to provide support and guidance to customers during the lockdown period.