Christchurch fibre broadband network provider, Enable, has announced that it will resume connecting most customers to fibre broadband under Alert Level 3 and will continue to adopt important health and safety controls in doing so. This decision is in line with Government expectations of the communications industry under Alert Level 3.
“Under Alert Level 4 we reduced all our activity to essential work only. This meant we needed to ring hundreds of customers and tell them that we needed to put their fibre broadband connection work on hold,” said Enable CEO, Steve Fuller.
“Most customers have been tremendously understanding – and shared our commitment to reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and keeping everyone safe.”
“From Tuesday 28 April we are able to resume all the postponed connections activity and we are busy contacting customers to reschedule appointments for as soon as possible.”
Enable is working to maximise its connections capacity to ensure it fulfils connections for all customers who want fibre broadband as quickly as possible – and has the capacity to complete 100 connections per day.
“We are very conscious that many people waiting for their connection have a heightened need for a fast, reliable fibre broadband service now – as they continue to work from home and their children continue to learn online. We are confident that we can quickly meet the needs of current orders and potential new orders,” said Mr Fuller.
Enable is preparing to see an influx of new fibre broadband orders – given the advantages people with a fibre broadband connection have enjoyed during the lockdown.
“Fibre is the best choice for anyone using the internet a lot and particularly if multiple people are online at the same time – whether it’s video conferencing, streaming movies, gaming or uploading homemade content to pass the time in lock-down,” said Mr Fuller.
“Our fibre broadband network is designed to handle every customer enjoying as much online activity as they like, and it has performed admirably through the last four weeks. Our fibre network utilisation has peaked at around 50 percent of its capacity and at the same time as there have been reports of other technologies, such as copper and fixed wireless broadband, struggling to meet usage demands.”
Under Alert Level 3, Enable’s field technicians will adhere to strict controls in line with Government recommendations – including physical distancing, hand hygiene, using personal protective equipment inside people’s homes or businesses and contact tracing. The business will also screen customers via phone for COVID-19 cases or symptoms and vulnerable people with higher-risk of severe illness (such as older people or those with underlying medical conditions) and will look to postpone appointments in these cases.
“We ask customers to accept the need to continue to postpone some connections and that we are only doing so to keep our community and field technicians safe,” added Mr Fuller.
Enable will continue to operate much of its business under a work from home model and will ramp up other field activity, such as network extension and maintenance work, where it is safe to do so.
“Our work from home model is continuing to allow us to operate our core essential business very efficiently – so we will continue this in the interests of reducing the spread of COVID-19,” said Mr Fuller.
“Our business remains financially sound and we’ve not had to draw on any of the Government’s Economic Response Package.”
“This has not been the same for some our construction partners, whose work has been severely impacted. We want to support our partners to get their people working as quickly as possible with the right safety controls in place. This is what we can do to get our Christchurch economy back up and running and take some burden away from the Government’s wage subsidy scheme.”