Fast internet a click closer

Aug 30th, 2017 | By | Category: Hot Topics, Latest News

Tamahere and Matangi are finally to be included in the government provision of ultrafast broadband but coverage details and timing are yet to be confirmed.

Fibre-optic cable

UFB delivered by fibre-optic cabling would significantly increase internet download and upload speeds

The Waikato District Council today welcomed the Government’s announcement that another six of the district’s towns would get fast internet, along with mobile coverage for three more locations through the Rural Broadband initiative.

Tamahere Councillor Aksel Bech said there were two reasons to be delighted at the “good news”.

It meant that the government would underwrite the capital cost of installing the fibre “road by road, until individual customers sign up and the government gets its money back.”

The announcement should also mean that fibre would, in the case of most households, be offered to the house without extra installation costs, rather than to the gate, Bech told Tamahere Forum

Until now the distance between properties in Tamahere and their often long driveways had made it difficult to find fibre providers who could offer a standard installation price, Bech said.

The government involvement meant that Tamahere residents should be able to take up fibre deals advertised by retailers with the cost being the same as for someone living in middle of Hamilton, he said.

But Bech said it was not yet clear exactly how far and wide the initiative would go and when installation would occur.

“I have, therefore, already today had a conversation with UltraFastFibre (UFF) about exactly what can make this go faster,” he said.

“Working with the Tamahere Community Committee I would hope that within just a couple of weeks we should be able to come back with a clear path forward.

“If we want fibre to happen in months rather than years from now then this is now likely to hinge on good uptake.”

A council survey of residents showed that some residents would take up fibre if it was offered.

“Now it will be up to how many of us actually walk the talk,” Bech said.

That meant residents needed to talk to the various retailers such as Vodafone, Spark, 2 Degrees, Slingshot and so on and then be willing to sign up for whatever ultrafast contracts best suited their household’s needs.

How fast is fast?

“We know from the WDC survey that for many areas of Tamahere download speeds range from two to eight megabytes per second, perhaps as much as 15 or 20 mbs for those few close to the city on VDSL,” Bech said.

“Fibre speeds should be in the several hundreds of megabytes per second so it’s a different universe.”

Bech said also announced was an extension to the Rural Broadband and Mobile Blackspot initiatives.

This would be important for those areas where houses were too far apart for the provision of fibre to be economic.

“Here improved Rural Broadband should also offer more options than currently.

“But to be clear. We do not yet have a definitive map that says what’s in and what’s out but for sure there will be a point on, for example, Pencarrow or Pickering roads or Bruntwood Road where the roll out stops. After that point it will be an improved wireless Rural Broadband solution.”

The five Waikato towns besides Tamahere included in the government’s fibre rollout are Pokeno, Meremere and Port Waikato in the northern part of the district, and Te Kowhai and Tauwhare in the central and southern parts of the district. Rural broadband will be extended to Glen Murray, Nikau Cave and Waingaro.

Eight Waikato district towns are already in the pipeline for fibre-based broadband. These are Tuakau, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Taupiri, Ngaruawahia, Horotiu, Whatawhata and Raglan.

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