Lyndsey Thompson was so impressed with what Brdy offered, he’s now their Channel Business Development Manager….
After taking two years to build our new home through the isolations and border controls of COVID, we finally moved into Northland in July 2021. The timing was fortunate as we were then placed back into isolation and the Northland border reintroduced.
It was only then, when communication became critical working from home, that I realised Spark’s internet service with 40GB of data was not going to be enough. As my wife and I were both having regular Zoom and Teams calls we needed a minimum of 200GB per month for work and to stream content.
So, my investigations began into demystifying the broadband internet marketplace. My first searches revealed a variety of local Wireless Internet Service Providers that were mainly regionally based, with towers for local transmission. I called one in Northland called Uber – not the taxi company but a company based in Whangarei. They wanted to know my address as they have a Geographic Information Software that lets them know whether you can receive their service in your area.
Unfortunately, Pauline from Uber told me that their service would not be adequate for my needs based on my property’s location. She suggested a Satellite service like Brdy or Starlink. Brdy ( Birdy) was established and Starlink were only just getting started in New Zealand. Both are satellite services but are completely different: Brdy is a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite and Starlink is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation.
Brdy is powered by Kacific1 a single Satellite operating 30,000km above earth. Starlink is a system of satellites orbiting the earth at a lower height of 550km above Earth. Brdy reaches all New Zealand with stable transmission however terminals for LEO systems such as Starlink need a wide field of view, clear of obstructions. A single tree or structure in this field of view can interrupt the service.
With Starlink there may also be hand over dropouts as the information transfers between satellites – not ideal for video or gaming. As I am at the foot of the Brynderwyn Range this would be a problem.
The other factor I considered was installation costs. Brdy’s is $499, which is well below other satellite providers. Local installers ensure the service is positioned correctly so you don’t have to crawl through your roof space installing it. Brdy also have a local phone support service.
Starlink charge more than $1000 for their kit and you must install it yourself if qualified to do so or pay about $450 for professional installation. If you lose connectivity with Starlink there is no local phone support and the system may take time to reboot. If there is a hardware issue you may have to post the dish back to the USA ($600) and wait for the replacement. The Starlink power supply is rated up to 180 W and the Rectangular Kit typically averages 40-65W. This is 2-3 times more than the Brdy kit so there is more power consumption with Starlink.
Kyle at Brdy talked me through the plans and identified I didn’t need the most expensive plan. I took an unlimited plan that doesn’t cut me off if I exceeded the monthly allocation. He also explained that I could easily change my Netflix resolution to reduce my data usage. Kyle said my service would be up and running in two weeks.
I was so impressed I joined the company.