Northpower Fibre will waive its monthly wholesale connection charges for families with school-aged children living in homes without broadband connectivity on its ultra-fast fibre network.
The waiver will be in place for six months says Northpower Fibre Chief Executive Darren Mason.
The company has been working with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to help identify the location of families in our areas with school-aged children and no broadband connection.
In partnership with the MOE, Northpower Fibre will look to re-activate broadband connectivity to 842 homes to help support the educational needs of our community during this time.
The households identified as needing internet connectivity for learning, already have a fibre Optical Network Terminal (ONT) in the home (the small white plastic ‘box’ required to connect the fibre from outside the house to inside the premise).
Mr Mason says fibre for these families can be switched on at any time after an order has been received via a retailer, as their ONTs can be remotely reactivated by Northpower Fibre.
“Provided the fibre connection in these homes is intact and usable, we will aim to give these families almost instant access to fast, high quality broadband,” says Mr Mason.
“It is important to note that installing new ONTs is largely prohibited under the government’s Covid-19 Alert Level 4 status, unless it is in support of those associated with the delivery of essential services.
“Through this partnership with MOE, we hope to be able to provide broadband to children and help with their educational needs through this lockdown and beyond.”
Northpower Fibre has also post-poned its scheduled annual CPI (Consumer Price Index) price increase for its broadband products until further notice.
Meantime, the company is continuing to attend to essential services and faults on Northpower Fibre network and is asking for householders and businesses to maintain social distancing from the company’s essential service workers.
In line with this, Northpower Fibre has created a set of new working guidelines for staff to adhere to. All staff have identification to clearly identify themselves and will phone before any essential site visit to ask relevant Covid-19 safety questions.
As an essential service, Northpower Fibre's priority is to keep its fibre broadband running for customers, ensuring the ongoing reliability of the network and the safety of staff and community during this Level 4 response.
The recent rise in broadband demand on the Northpower Fibre Network shows it has sufficient capacity to cope with the demand to support increased online educational learning, working from home, video conference and chat, along with streaming.