Leigh and Lynley Johns own and operate Sunset Waterfront Lodge on Great Barrier Island, one hundred kilometres off the coast of Auckand. You can get there by ferry or plane. The thirty minute flight takes you to this hidden gem which attracts tourists who mostly want to connect with and immerse themselves in nature. However the average visitor still needs to connect with home or the office. You would think that this would be fairly easy these days...no, well not for guests of Sunset Lodge at least.
This nine room hotel has joined several other businesses on the island to connect with Woi satellite internet, a new player in the satellite internet space with a focus on rural communications.
"Prior to WOI installation we were with one of our country’s largest Telco's, their system was not good, their service was poor, and they didn't care about us; we are just another account. If we complained about the poor internet their reply was oh well thats just the way it is in remote locations; they never offered any solutions" said Leigh Johns.
Woi designed and installed a satellite solution that divided 50mbps of speed into our home, office and the nine rooms. They installed a firewall to provide remote support and installed an Access Point in each room so every guest has a unique ID. The hotel is now able to issue vouchers to guests and set speed and quantity limits.
Johns says they discovered WOI after researching what they needed at their Lodge, then saw WOI advertising on Barrier Chat's facebook page and it seemed like a good fit for their needs. " I'm not a tech guy, I don't like discussing stuff over email, so my first phone call was to Richard about our needs, and he talked me through everything, it was in plain and simple terms, so no confusion. So straight away I had a good feeling that we were doing the right thing, communication was excellent. Something I have found lacking since our time on the island.
"The members of the WOI team were great, easy to talk to, took us through everything step, by step. We have their contact details so if there is ever anything in the future we need, we can get help straight away, not going through an electronic voice service and then speaking to someone who has no idea of our situation. These guys have been on site personally and know exactly what we need.
Johns says "As you would expect, handover was easy peasy, as they were onsite for several days doing the install, we were kept up to speed with everything, the staff went out of their way to help us understand the system in simple terms"
By having an excellent internet service, and with the advent of getting Television via the internet, we can now offer our guests first world service, and the number of business people we get staying with us, they can keep in touch with the outside world, in real time.
Having a reliable internet service means Sunset Waterfront Lodge can offer our guests reliable internet capability if they desire it. "Our first guest to utilise the internet TV, watched the Blackcaps play Aussie in a T20, utilising his personal Spark Sport account, and commented that the quality he got was better than his fibre connection in Auckland, which reiterated to us that we had made the right choice.
"I would definitely recommend WOI to anyone looking at getting internet in remote locations, Richard and his Team are real people, who understand the needs of rural residents, easy to talk to, not a corporate bully like some service providers have become" He added.
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