Simon Bridges’ time as National’s leader was probably up anyway, but a simple technological fix could have delayed the blunder that proved the last straw, writes PAT PILCHER.
Can Wi-Fi be fatal for politicians? If the then National party leader Simon Bridges antics were anything to go by, the answer is probably an emphatic “YES!”
With the Covid-19 level 4 lockdown in full swing, Bridges declared that he couldn’t get Wi-Fi to work properly in his home, which meant not being able to do whatever it is that he needed to do as leader of the National Party.
Because of this, Bridges flouted the lockdown and drove from his Tauranga electorate to Wellington. For many, this and several other tone deaf gaffes by Bridges was the final straw. The backlash was both swift and brutal. National plunged in the polls, leading to the leadership coup that saw bridges unceremoniously dumped as party leader and replaced by Todd Muller.
The really silly thing about this sorry saga is that it was easily avoidable. Getting reliable and stable Wi-Fi throughout your home is dead easy thanks to the wonders of Mesh Networking.
So just what is mesh networking? A mesh network doesn’t consist of the more traditional Wi-Fi router, range extenders and so on, but is instead made up of what is called “nodes”. These typically talk with other nodes you’ve got scattered around your home to form a network mesh. Each Node builds up a picture of the entire network, and smartphones, tablets, laptops and other widgets connect to nodes in the same way they would to a router or range extender.
Behind the scenes, nodes automatically workout the best way to route data between the nodes they’re closest to and the node closest to its destination. The big thing is that a mesh network will not only fill your home with full-strength Wi-Fi to cure any coverage black spots, but it’ll also manage all of the complicated stuff for you, dynamically adjusting radio and routing settings so you always have the best possible throughput and coverage available.
Crucially for Simon, it might have saved him a tonne of travel and allowed him to keep his job.