Darren, of Tailem Bend, follows in the footsteps of his mother, Betty, who was the first person in the rural town, about 100km south east of Adelaide, to receive an ADSL2+ broadband service nine years ago.
Darren, who describes his new high-speed broadband service as "fantastic", said he remembered the day in 2005 his mother first gained access to broadband at her Tailem Bend home. "Mum used the broadband to audit the accounts at my brother Phil’s Bridgestone Tyre Centres," he recalled.
"She also talked me into getting broadband, so I connected up my business, Smedley Tyre Service in Tailem Bend, to let my wife Tania work from home while looking after the kids during the holidays."
Today, Darren and Tania are delighted to follow in the family tradition of pioneering broadband by becoming the first household in South Australia to have an NBN Fixed Wireless service. Darren chose to order the NBN through Internode - part of the ASX-listed iiNet Group, which has more than 36,000 NBN customers nationally - because of its great customer service during the past decade.
Unlike his mother’s ADSL2+ service, whose performance depended on the state of copper telephone lines and distance from the telephone exchange, their new 25/5 NBN Fixed Wireless service delivers a guaranteed quality service for their Internet access.
Darren said the NBN Fixed Wireless service was installed at his home, where he had relied on 3G broadband for Internet access since moving in seven months ago. "I do a lot of invoicing off my iPad, which has its own 3G SIM, but that was costing me a fortune to use," he said.
"Last month, it cost me $190 for my iPad alone. Overall, our business has eight mobiles, four landlines and my iPad, so we’re expecting to save a lot on communication costs."
As well as Smedley Tyre Service, Darren and his son Brad run a spinoff business, called the Tyre Surgeon, which performs tyre repairs and renovations for other tyre centres throughout SA and customers as far afield at Moomba, Birdsville and Victoria. Business is booming for the 18-month-startup, which has grown mostly from word of mouth.
Darren said his new NBN Fixed Wireless service was a boon for both businesses. "It means we can both work remotely from home and do a lot more bookwork after hours," he said.
"The real benefit is the speed. The NBN makes it so much faster to find things and get tasks done. We can also use the NBN to monitor surveillance cameras in our workshops, which gives us more security as well."