Hills, Holes and Poles: Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Our project is called Hills Holes and Poles and we saw all three yesterday.

Chris Roberts runs Amuri.net, based in Culverden, about 1.5 hours north of Christchurch. Its dairying country and this is farming done on scale; those big pivot irrigators can stretch a kilometre and more and the activity generated means big data demands. A decade ago Chris got tired of drumming fingers to dial-up. So he installed wireless for himself. Others saw what he had and asked for the same. He worked on his days off establishing wireless transmitters around the district.

Chris now has about 30 wireless repeater sites around Canterbury. Yesterday he took us up Lowry Peaks behind Culverden. It's a rugged climb in a 4 wheel drive to the top where you appreciate the effort that goes in to creating such sites. The views stretch back to the Southern Alps and across to the Pacific and the site links to other transmitters dotted on distant hills.

The customer base seems to include at least every second dairy farm in the Amuri basin and now stretches  north to Kaikoura and down to Christchurch and beyond. Prices start from less than $60 a month.

FX Networks provides the backhaul with fibre that runs from Marlborough, through majestic Molesworth Station, down to Hanmer Springs and then south to Christchurch. Via Culverden. There's an FX connection pit (hole) outside Amuri.net's data centre. 
Hats off to this hills, holes and poles pioneer for North Canterbury and beyond.