Donald Gordon, Software Engineer

Donald Gordon

The completion of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) network in Whanganui means working from home will be easier for locals, says Xero software engineer, Donald Gordon.

Mr Gordon, his wife Angela and their young daughter moved to Whanganui from Wellington in 2013. Now they have a baby son, and although family life is busy, Mr Gordon says that working from home is “no trouble”.

“With UFB home internet the performance is what it says it’s going to be,” he says. “It’s a consistently fast and reliable connection, at the same price if not cheaper than DSL copper.”

When the Gordons bought their Whanganui property, fibre was already available outside. They were able to arrange their UFB connection to be ready for when they moved in. “The installation process was easy and didn’t cost anything.”

Day to day, Mr Gordon works at his computer, which is connected to the Xero international network. He regularly uses video conferencing for meetings and to keep in touch with his colleagues. “Our UFB connection in Whanganui is faster and more reliable than our broadband connection in Wellington,” he says. “It’s the envy of my colleagues in other cities.”

Mr Gordon says he feels lucky to be able to work for a major multinational company, while raising his family in “community-focused” Whanganui. “UFB has made this lifestyle achievable.”

Edward Minnell and his family

Edward Minell

The Minnell family are one of Whanganui’s ‘conneted households’ and say their Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) connection makes for a happier home. “Three years ago I wasn’t sure if fibre was really going to be needed,” Mr Minnell says. “But we wouldn’t be without it now.”

Edward Minnell, his wife and daughter have a PC each. Both adults each have a cell phone and their daughter has a tablet. They have a home theatre PC in the lounge connected to the TV. “We’ve found streaming from the internet is easy and so much better than using Freeview.”

Mr Minnell says the ability for the whole family to be connected at the same time means less. “It’s great for my wife to be able to stream HD video in the lounge while my daughter watches YouTube videos on her tablet. Meanwhile I can still play online games on my computer, while I wait for my laptop to update,” he says.

Mr Minnell, who is an ICT expert, says his Ultra Fast Broadband home internet connection allows him to have flexibility in his working day. “On a sunny afternoon I can go home and take my daughter to the playground,” he says.

“I just use my phone to answer urgent emails and messages, then in the evening I catch up with work. “Without cloud-based services and a good internet connection that would not happen.”

Deborah Wai Kapohe

Deborah Wai Kapohe

Professional opera singer Debbie Kapohe uses Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) to take singing lessons and in the process avoids travelling 980 kilometres. Ms Kapohe, who is also the Wanganui District Council arts facilitator says her fast home internet connection has enhanced both her singing and her role at the Council. It has also saved her a “huge amount” of time and money.

“As a professional singer, I have regular singing lessons – but my teacher is based in Dunedin,” she explains. “Now my lessons are done at home via Skype, which is so efficient and easy.” “It dramatically reduces my costs, as otherwise I’d have to travel from Whanganui to Dunedin!”

Ms Kapohe says singers and creative artists can use UFB to be more productive. “Before I got connected, the internet was just too slow to research and download files properly. It was incredibly frustrating,” she says. “Now with a UFB connection it’s simple to go online to learn my music or search out rare opera recordings.”

Her arts facilitation work for the Council also relies on a fast internet connection. “It’s important for Whanganui to stay connected with what’s happening in the arts world,” Ms Kapohe says. “We want to be seen as a creative and innovative place, attracting the best performers and artists.

“UFB allows us to keep our finger on the arts pulse globally. It also enables our local creative talent to learn and develop their skills, while living in the best place – Whanganui!”

Bunty and Camille, The Breeze Breakfast

Camille Guzwell and Mark (Bunty) Bunting.

Waikato radio personality Mark (‘Bunty’) Bunting was an ‘early adopter’ of Ultrafast Fibre’s UFB and says it is hugely beneficial for his work. “As a broadcaster and someone who runs a communications business, I need a reliable internet connection,” Mark says. “I send high-quality files to clients all over the country, and UFB allows me to do this very quickly and easily.

“UFB has opened up a number of new opportunities for me, from podcasting to online TV. “It used to take me 30 minutes to download a large video file; now it takes a fraction of that time.”

Mark’s co-host on Waikato’s The Breeze Breakfast Camille Guzwell now has UFB connected at her home too. “We are so excited to have UFB at our home in Cambridge,” says Camille.

“Bunty has been raving about how amazing ultrafast home internet broadband is and now I can see why. “My husband is transitioning back into the workforce after being a stay-at-home dad; with UFB he can now contract from home, which is fantastic.”