Some New Zealand households are still getting their Spark Sport act together ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

But 650km off the east coast, the Chatham Islands are sorted for free RWC streaming - courtesy of internet provider Wireless Nation.

The ISP says that in the Chatham Islands, the internet speeds residents have is too slow to allow them to stream the games at all (something it has in common with around 40,000 rural households).

"We know how passionate Chatham Islanders are about their rugby, so we couldn't let them go without the biggest event of the rugby calendar," Wireless Nation marketing manager Miro Sudzum says.

"We've teamed up with Optus [operator of the Optus D2 satellite] to invest more than $15,000 together for a satellite and system capable of delivering a dedicated stream so that all the games can be viewed live on the island."


The games will be played for free in the Norman Kirk Memorial Reserve hall, known as "The Den".

All proceeds made from drinks and food sold during the games will go towards funding a new playground for 0-13 year-olds on the island.

"We were over-the-moon when Wireless Nation told us about its generous contribution to ensuring we can watch all of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup matches," The Den's chairperson and manager, Phillipa Morrison, says.

"Like the rest of New Zealand, we live and breathe rugby here, and there has been some serious anxiety from Chatham Islands residents as to whether we'd even be able to watch the games.

"It's fair to say people here have been extremely worried because our internet speeds simply won't usually allow for streaming."

Earlier, Spark Sport head Jeff Latch conceded that some parts of rural New Zealand just don't have good enough broadband to stream the Rugby World Cup.

The telco-turned-broadcaster looking to mitigate the damage by making its RWC coverage free for rural schools - which often have fibre connections and can serve as community viewing hubs.

And for ease-of-setup, commercial premises have also been given access to a Sky RWC popup channel, courtesy of surprise Sky-Spark partnership.

Spark has also made its Tournament Pass available to commercial premises like pubs and clubs at a residential rate, in part again to make up for poor broadband coverage in some parts of the country.


The Telecommunications Users Association has also recommended that people in rural areas investigate whether a local "wisp" or wireless internet service provider can provide fast enough broadband for RWC streaming.

And Wireless Nation's Chathams effort is, in part, to raise the profile of wisps, and of course it's own brand as a rural broadbrand specialist.

"We thought it was important to spread the word to rural communities that they have options in getting connected. Many people do not know they have options outside Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees," , Sudzum told the Herald.