By Ben Moore, BusinessDesk
Amid the fibre and mobile network outages spread across the North Island, users of Starlink are reporting that their connections remained stable – as long as their power and hardware held up.
Starlink is a satellite internet network, developed by private spaceflight company SpaceX, which Elon Musk founded. It provides access to 48 countries.
One Twitter user based west of Whangārei said after Cyclone Gabrielle hit, his household was able to stream high-definition TV until 9pm on Feb 13, when his power went out.
RNZ reported that the northern community of Tutukaka set up a Starlink connection and a generator to offer connectivity to disconnected locals.
A member of the public StarLinkNZ Facebook group reported that her household lost connectivity, likely when the wind knocked a cable loose.
Another user suggested a simple cable tie would fix the issue.
In a private Facebook group for NZ Starlink users, most said their connections were holding strong but there were also reports of network issues in the Waikato and Rotorua areas on the morning of February 14.
The users speculated that it may have been due to Starlink ground stations losing power.
Starlink can experience some slowness in heavy rain but reports on social media suggest it has managed to hold on in the face of Gabrielle.
BusinessDesk was unable to contact Starlink for comment before publication time.
Telco outages and updates as of Wednesday morning
- 126 cellsites offline, mostly due to power cuts
- Gisborne offline for both fixed and mobile service due to fibre cuts
- Taupō has been partially restored
- 9 sites restored but 146 cellsites offline due to power cuts:
- 25 in Northland
- 19 in Auckland
- 19 in Waikato
- 31 in Central North Island and Coromandel
- 52 in Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Lower North Island
For Spark customers impacted, options for assistance are available and more information is available here or people can phone 0800 800 123 and choose option 9. Spark asks people to only use this option if impacted, so that those most in need are served first.
Affected mobile and broadband customers can access free data top-ups. Details here.
- Approximately 183 cellsites offline:
- 62 in Northland
- 18 in Auckland
- 43 in the central North Island
- 60 in the lower North Island
Vodafone customers can see network status here. Vodafone frontline teams can offer support including extra minutes, texts and data to help keep customers connected.
If your fixed line broadband has been disconnected and you have a VF mobile connection, Vodafone could provide ‘Always Connected’ for free – seven days’ worth of data for your phone to use as a hotspot until services come back.
Rural Connectivity Group
Approximately 125 cellsites are offline (impacting all three mobile operators):
- 44 in Northland
- 11 in Auckland
- 70 Rest of North Island
The Rural Connectivity Group is a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees formed for the public-private Rural Broadband Initiative.
Additional reporting: NZ Herald