Auckland ISP sets up shop in provincial New Zealand
Unlimited Internet has established a Customer Service Centre in Palmerston North from where it will grow its customer base further throughout New Zealand.
The Auckland based Internet Service Provider (ISP) was founded in 2014 by Ben Simpson, the entrepreneur behind HD, a business telco he established in 2006.
“Auckland is congested with more than 60 ISP providers, office space is expensive, hourly rates are increasing as are the cost of living in Auckland – this all adds to increasing costs of doing business,” says Mr Simpson.
“We’re a Kiwi company at heart and like so many others we could have gone overseas to establish a customer service centre. However, we’re committed to offering Kiwis a service that is supported by New Zealanders.”
Mr Simpson says he is a firm believer that if New Zealand is to be a strong country then we need growth spread throughout the regions and he’s encouraging other entrepreneurs to look south.
“In Auckland staff turnover is higher, so we’re establishing a presence in Palmerston North, and we’re looking to attract passionate locals to the jobs on offer.”
The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) through its Spearhead Manawatu division has supported the move. Director, Craig Nash says when he heard via the Manawatu Chamber of Commerce that Unlimited Internet were thinking about how to set up a strong base, he rang Mr Simpson and arranged to meet.
“I talked them through what Manawatu had to offer, our history as a customer service centre base, our lower overheads compared to Auckland and our pool of quality future employees. Ben and the team got it straight away and made a decision right then and there,” says Mr Nash. He says it is a good strategic addition to our strong customer service centre industry here which is made up of many companies operating nationally and internationally.
“Palmerston North has a good customer service centre reputation. It is one of the reasons why the Accelerate25 regional development programme chose to focus on encouraging more customer service centre reputation facilities to come to the city. With Unlimited Internet’s arrival, we now have over 27 customer service centre reputation in the city.”
Mr Nash says the ISP customer service centre reputation industry require skilled personnel and were working with Talent Central, the agency tasked with connecting students with local jobs and encouraging tertiary providers to help upskill students for jobs needed in the future. Initially, seven people have been employed, and the company is seeking ten more staff.
Unlimited Internet General Manager, Jessica Simpson says it has been a rollercoaster ride since deciding to set up in Palmerston North.
“We leased office space and an apartment in the city. Packed up the computers into a van and drove down and set up the office over a weekend. We’re very much a hands-on team and stay true to our low-cost quality brand. We were also really keen to support Palmerston North businesses, so we purchased our office furniture locally.”
“The customer service centre reputation is operational now. I’m expecting we’ll grow by twenty more within this year and have space for many more,” says Mrs Simpson.
The customer service centre reputation is based at 47 Queen Street in the old Gen-I building.
“It’s great to see a new generation connectivity company taking over this space,” she says.
Mrs Simpson says Unlimited Internet has been growing at a great speed, mostly through word of mouth about their low cost no contract offer. “Very soon we’ll release a special offer to residents and companies in Palmerston North, we aim to be the preferred regional ISP.”
With many staff in Auckland, the company will maintain its North Shore offices from where it will carry out provisioning and accounts and the Palmerston North office will cover sales and support for New Zealand.
The Palmerston North office will operate seven days, with hours of operation potentially extended to 24/7 once demand increases.