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Tongariro crosses broadband barrier

20 Nov 2012

The Tongariro OPC base has received fast and reliable internet access in one of the most challenging broadband hook-ups in New Zealand.

Previously, the remote 40-year-old base of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand (OPC) had to rely on a slow and patchy satellite connection for internet access.

But this year, a combined effort from OPC and its long-time sponsor Genesis Energy, with the support of the local Huckleberry’s Sports and Charitable Society, brought broadband to the staff at Tongariro.

“OPC is blessed to be based in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful wilderness areas, but the remote location does have its challenges,” says Graham Seatter, OPC CEO.

“We have a very remote location at Tongariro and the cost of getting a unique connection to our site was prohibitive, so we had to find a different solution.

“Fortunately, our long-term supporter Genesis Energy had broadband internet connections in the area serving the Tongariro Power Scheme, so with a bit of technical nous and financial support from them, we were able to get hooked up.

“Without Genesis accommodating us on their existing internet hardware it would have been extremely expensive.”

Based in the heart of the Tongariro National Park, about 25km from the nearest town and 4km from the nearest state highway, getting hooked up to broadband internet was a logistical, technical and financial challenge according to Grama.

“Genesis is a great partner of OPC in so many ways and in this project they made a major contribution in what is a very significant development for OPC.”

"Having broadband has changed the world for our staff at Tongariro. They have joined the 21st century.

“Although our students will benefit indirectly from the broadband connection, part of the OPC experience is appreciating life without digital distractions, and we’ll keep it that way."