Kiwi Internet company Ihug, using small satellites to give rural schools and farmers Internet access, says the service is faster than that in the city.
Director Nick Wood says the new Satnet service sends data 10 to 30 times quicker than standard Internet connections.
The high-speed service has been trialled for a year and is already operating at a number of rural schools. It is now being launched in towns and cities nationwide.
Satnet uses a standard phone connection for sending out data, such as requests for Web site pages. But all Internet files are returned at high-speed through a small satellite dish.
“The technology is designed to overcome the extremes of New Zealand’s physical features including high country and mountainous regions The feedback we have had from schools and other rural users has been extremely positive,” Wood says.
The new high-speed Internet service costs $59.95 a month. Equipment is supplied free of charge. Ihug say the only extra cost is a small installation fee.