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More rural towns to get access to better broadband

By Shannon Williams, Tue 10 Feb 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Chorus has announced it has finished work on 28 new fibre-fed broadband cabinets across New Zealand as part of the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative.

Ed Beattie, Chorus general manager of infrastructure, says there is no question that access to better broadband makes a significant difference to the lives of rural New Zealanders.   “Chorus has always been passionate about improving rural connectivity throughout New Zealand. That’s why we are pleased to be able to deliver improved broadband in more rural areas throughout New Zealand.”   Beattie says more reliable and consistent broadband speeds will provide faster upload speeds for photographs and images, faster download speeds for music and movies, and better, clearer video conversations with friends and family.   “However, better broadband also helps rural businesses connect easily to the world and run applications from cloud-based services, reducing IT costs and improving business resilience,” he says.   “In practical terms, for rural businesses, such as farms, this means better connection to services like livestock improvement records and markets overseas, as well as improving time management through online purchasing. 

“Technology plays a big part in modern farming and now more people can be part of that,” he adds.   “By upgrading the infrastructure, it not only means broadband will now be more consistent and reliable, in some cases it also means that people who have previously been on a waiting list for a broadband service can now access one.”   Beattie says that although the broadband network has been upgraded, residents in areas with new fibre-fed broadband cabinets also have an important part to play in making the most of the upgraded broadband capability.   "A customer's broadband service is also affected by factors including their broadband internet connection plan, modem, computer, the wiring in their home or business and distance from the cabinet,” he says.   “We also encourage residents to talk directly with their internet service provider to find out how they can be connected to our upgraded network.”   The work is part of Chorus’ involvement in the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative. As part of this work, Chorus is installing about 1200 fibre-fed cabinets in rural areas throughout New Zealand. This means that about 57% of rural New Zealand will have access to fixed line broadband, and more than 30% of homes, farms and businesses supplied via Chorus’ new cabinets will be able to access a VDSL broadband service with speeds in excess of 20 Mbps. The company says this is the fastest service over Chorus’ existing copper network.   The estimated cost of Chorus’ RBI work is in the range of $280-$295 million, with Chorus contributing 15-20%of the cost.   The latest 28 broadband cabinets to be completed are in: 

  • Northland (Manganese Point, Mangawhai, Parakao x2, Poriti, Parua Bay x2, Tangowahine and Waikare)
  • Otago (Allanton, Dalefield x2 and Momona)
  • Waikato (Benneydale, Rotokawa and Taharoa)
  • Auckland (Coatesville, Kawakawa Bay, Point Wells, Wairere and Wenderholm)
  • Hawke’s Bay (Jervoistown)
  • Manawatu (Ohura)
  • Canterbury (Springfield and Okuku)
  • Wairarapa (Rangitumau)
  • Nelson/Marlborough (Rapaura and Tadmor)

   Background information about Chorus’ involvement in the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative: •    Chorus is laying about 3350km of fibre by the end of the Rural Broadband Initiative in 2016 •    Installing or upgrading about 1200 new broadband cabinets •    Enabling more than 40,000 lines in rural areas to access broadband services that had no previous access •    Connecting more than 1000 rural schools to fibre •    Connecting 154 new Vodafone cell sites to fibre •    50 hospitals and integrated family health centres will have the benefit of 100Mbps fibre connections •    Connecting 183 rural libraries to fibre

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