Environment Canterbury’s role is to facilitate sustainable development in the Canterbury region. They do this by working with the people of Canterbury to manage the region’s air, water and land.

2degrees (formerly Snap) Enterprise manages Environment Canterbury’s LAN, WAN and internet, connecting 20 urban and remote locations with a range of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB), VDSL and ADSL services. For large sites fibre provides the primary connection with an automated failover to VDSL, although each site’s broadband needs and available infrastructure determines exactly what solution is used.

The WAN covers a large part of the South Island for over 500 staff, including several offices across greater Christchurch, one in Timaru as well as smaller regional depots and even a single user site in Tekapo. "Regardless of where they are located, all our staff need a fast network to access files, especially data-rich GIS information relating to consents, water flows and surveys," says Alan Warne, Environment Canterbury’s Team Leader ICT Operations.

Collaboration and initiative

2degrees regularly works with other infrastructure providers including Enable Networks and Chorus on Environment Canterbury’s behalf.

"Our Lincoln site was previously an old country club, abandoned for years and surrounded by water on three sides," Alan comments. "It was a difficult place to put fibre into but 2degrees and its partners happily took up the challenge."

"2degrees offers excellent value for money and can tailor their network solution to meet the needs of each location. Outages due to ongoing construction are just a fact of life in Christchurch these days but 2degrees team are responsive, taking problems in their stride and working with other infrastructure companies to just sort it for us."

Reliable remote access

The managed WAN is connected straight into Environment Canterbury’s data centres, optimising the overall network for handling cloud-based business applications. Already using Office 365 for SharePoint, Environment Canterbury is moving some email services to the cloud so that the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has independence during an emergency. There are a variety of methods general staff can use to get remote access during emergencies and for teleworking.

The 2degrees network is also being extended to cover 15 unmanned environmental monitoring stations, which Alan says is an exciting prospect.

"Running the network to our monitoring stations will deliver several benefits, not least of all saving travel costs to our remote sites. This offers some really exciting possibilities for recording much greater amounts of data about air quality, tracking changes as they occur and allowing us to have near real time data – all things that were not possible when the monitoring is done by hand."

2degrees offers excellent value for money and can tailor their network solution to meet the needs of each location...

Alan Warne,
Team Leader, ICT Operations, Environment Canterbury