We are looking to expand our service in to new areas in the Auckland city, sub-urban, and rural areas. Our service is transmitted wirelessly, so we need to place hubs in select locations that have a good view of other properties in the neighbourhood in order to bring you and your neighbours faster broadband. If you are interested in hosting a hub and you have a property or land that overlooks other properties, then continue reading...
If your property overlooks or is overlooked by other houses or businesses in any direction, we would like to discuss hosting an Ionica hub.
You've probably already been contacted by us or have received a flyer indicating that we are interested in hosting a hub on your property. This is because we believe your property would be a potential location where we could place our hub and extend our service in to your neighbourhood. In return we will provide you with our high-end unlimited broadband package for free.
The first question we get asked is what the Ionica hub looks like. Our typical installation consists of our standard internet access antenna plus the additional Ionica hub antenna.
Our standard internet access antenna is a circular device, 19cm in diameter (pictured right) that is attached to a point on your property that has line-of-sight to our main tower - normally under a roofing eave, on a chimney, or at some other high point on your property. This is the same antenna that all Ionica customers use to receive our broadband service.
The Ionica hub antenna (pictured left) is a 60cm pole antenna that is fitted to a high point on your house that has a good view of the neighbourhood. It therefore needs to be above the roofline typically on a chimney, existing TV mast, or on a mast attached to the apex of your roof. Only the top 30cm of the hub (the antenna part) needs to protrude above the roofline.
We will also install an electrics box (approx. 30x20cm) on an outside wall or under the house void.
The antennas come in white by default, although we have a variety of alternative colours that can be used to match your decor as desired.
The second question we get asked is what you need to do to run the hub. In short, nothing - we will do everything. Infact, it's a requirement of ours that you don't do anything to the equipment. We just need your permission to use your property to mount the hub.
Although not mandatory, we do ask that you keep an eye out for any obvious issues such as damage, wear and tear, or notify us if there is a power outage. None-the-less, our operations centre continually monitors the equipment and power status, so we will be automatically notified if there is a service impacting issue.
We do require you to commit to at least 2 years of hosting the hub. Ideally, we'd like to extend the agreement on an ongoing basis for many years.
The third, and arguably most important, question we get asked is what will you get out of the arrangement. In return for being a hub home we will provide you with our high speed unlimited broadband service free of charge. We also cover the cost of electricity used by the equipment (approx. $50 per year).
Although the equipment is self managing, there may be circumstances where we need to visit your home to perform maintenance on the hub. We need to stress that these are normally quite rare and are only necessary when there is an issue we can't resolve remotely. For example, if there is a fault with the equipment, or if there is an extended power failure that has depleted the batteries.
All maintenance can be performed from the outside, so we don't need access to the inside of your house. We will always notify you if we need to make a maintenance visit.
There are many areas in New Zealand where fast broadband isn't available - mostly in rural locations. If you live in such an area and want to improve your broadband service, Ionica can solve this problem by installing a hub to bring our wireless service to your neighbourhood. Typically we install a hub on a suitable building (house, barn, silo, etc), or install a special solar/wind powered hub on a hill or field.
If you wish to become a hub home, the next steps are as follows:
The whole process from start to end typically takes 1-2 weeks depending on any external factors. Remote / rural locations may take longer due to additional construction and access requirements.
The electronics box will be installed at ground level, often in an inconspicuous place such as a side alley, under the house void, or adjacent to existing utility boxes. We will discuss with you the best location that suits you.
Also, please don't turn off the power to the equipment without first contacting us.
There are a couple of additional requirements for rural installations that differ from urban installations.
Otherwise, rural hubs work just the same as urban hubs.
A typical solar powered rural hub
The antenna emits about the same low level of radio signal that your broadband router, laptop, or tablet emits. It's therefore safe to be near the antennas.