First published Tuesday 13th September 2011 5:30pm
Last updated Tuesday 13th September 2011 5:30pm

iPod Touch

Our annual survey provides a great opportunity for you to give us feedback on the services we provide. Plus, by filling in the survey you go into the draw to win an iPod Touch or one of ten 10GB Lightwire topups!

Click here to take the survey.

Also, every single user that fills in the survey gets a 500MB topup for free.

The Lightwire team values all feedback on the services we provide. We try to incorporate as many of the suggestions as we can into our development plans. We also use the feedback to provide input into the long term planning for development of the campus as a whole.

This year the survey is powered by Google Docs so will require you to log into Lightwire to fill in the survey. However, thanks to the University offering free traffic to all Google sites, you won't be charged anything for it.

Make sure you tell all your friends to complete the survey to get their free topup. The survey is open until Monday 26th September 2011 and prize winners announced and free topups supplied by Monday 3rd October 2011.

Remember, you can always provide feedback on the service at any time by following us on twitter or Facebook.

First published Tuesday 20th July 2010 12:17pm
Last updated Tuesday 20th July 2010 12:17pm

Now that everyone is back again for B semester, we'd like to start a series of posts that introduce you to how things work behind the scenes at Lightwire.

In this first post, we'd like to introduce you to the history of Lightwire and where we came from. We hope to write a number of posts over the next few weeks which we hope will address a number of the common questions raised in the 2010 Lightwire Survey. Some posts (like this one) will be generally informative, others will be a bit more technical.

Lightwire's History

Way back in 2001, the WAND Network Research Group in the Computer Science department right here at the University of Waikato started the CRCnet project. CRCnet was a project to connect remote and rural communities around New Zealand to the Internet using then-new wireless technologies. Over the following years, CRCnet grew to cover a large portion of the central North Island, connecting some of the most remote schools and communities to the Internet from which they were previously completely cut off.

In 2006, Rural Link Limited was founded as a joint venture between the University and Rezare Systems to commercialise the research work done in the CRCnet project. The CRCnet project members who were employed by the Computer Science department started to split their time between the University and Rural Link, which based itself at the Waikato Innovation Park, just down the road from the University. CRCnet continues to provide rural wireless broadband service today under the no8wireless brand.

Most of the Rural Link staff were either University teaching and research staff or students. As we grew CRCnet and started to look for other opportunities, we realised that what was really lacking at the University was a cheap, easy and accessible way for students to get on the Internet.

Prior to Lightwire, there was no Internet access in many of the Halls of Residence. If a halls user wanted to use the Internet, they needed to either go to a common room with a shared computer or to a University lab. Internet access on campus required the use of the Waikato Proxy, which charged students via UniCash and only allowed Web access, so other applications such as voice chat, games, etc, weren't supported.

And so, the idea of Lightwire was born. Our vision is to provide affordable Internet access wherever you need it. We've come a long way since Lightwire was launched in 2008, but there's still plenty of scope for improvement. Lightwire started in 2008 as a subscription service in the Halls only, with users paying per month for access. We moved to a casual pre-paid top-up system in 2009, which made managing your Internet spending much easier and we also made Lightwire available across campus. In 2010, we introduced an even better pricing system where your credit doesn't expire, and we expanded Lightwire's reach even further throughout the Hamilton CBD.

Before Lightwire, casual wireless access could cost hundreds of dollars per gigabyte (seriously). Now, you can get a gigabyte of data for about ten bucks (even cheaper if you top-up more), and you can use it in the Halls, around campus, and now even when you're out and about in town.

Lightwire is still staffed by the same people who started it - a small group of students and ex University staff who recognised the demand for affordable Internet access wherever you are. As previous students, we know what it's like, so we've designed Lightwire to be as useful as possible without costing the earth or requiring contracts.

In an upcoming post we'll talk in more detail about how the physical network works and how we provide Internet access to you over it. Also we'll discuss how we hope to work with the University to improve the physical network to make sure we can deliver a great experience to all our users. We'll also try to answer some of the common questions that came up in the 2010 Lightwire Survey.

Feel free to join us on Facebook and ask questions or start a discussion.

Thanks for reading,

The Lightwire Team.

First published Wednesday 14th July 2010 10:10am
Last updated Monday 29th November 2010 10:34am

Over the holidays ITS started laying fiber into each building in Student Village to replace the old copper phone cables we currently use to get internet access into and out of each building.

We are not sure yet what exactly has happened but there has been a dramatic decline in the performance of the current phone based system, in particular into SV-7 and SV-2. This has also to a lesser degree effected all buildings in Student Village.

We don't yet know if this is due to the construction damaging the old phone cables or if it is a coincidence. Unfortunately the fiber project still has a number of months to run before we can switch across to that, so we are busy trying to find a solution ASAP.

Please accept our apologies about this problem, but in the long term the new fiber access will significantly enhance the Lightwire service in Student Village.

More details are available for this article>>
First published Friday 25th June 2010 10:25am
Last updated Friday 25th June 2010 10:25am

The University have informed us that they have scheduled an outage of the entire University network for Saturday 26 June from 9am - 3pm to perform maintenance.

This will mean that the Lightwire network will be unavailable on campus and in the Halls of residence during this time.

We apologise for the inconvenience and hope that the outage time is kept to a minimum.

First published Tuesday 25th May 2010 11:55pm
Last updated Tuesday 25th May 2010 11:55pm

The Winter 2010 issue of Scope Magazine, which "showcases the Waikato's best in innovation and technology" has two articles featuring Lightwire and we thought we'd like to share.

The first article, "Would you like internet with that?", talks about Momento Espresso's expansion into the new Wintec Avalon campus and how partnering with Lightwire to provide fast, simple and affordable internet at Momento Cafes has added to the Momento Espresso experience.

The second article, "Demystifying technology in the Waikato", takes a look at how the internet and in particular social networking and mobile internet access has changed the way we communicate and how businesses operate. Scope talked to "several people on the leading edge of technology in the Waikato", which included our own Senior Network Specialist and Lightwire Product Manager, Jamie Curtis.

We're stoked that Lightwire has been identified as an innovative and forward-thinking business in the Waikato. Have a read of the articles at for a glimpse at where Lightwire is now and where it's heading.

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