The Chorus deal

November 2nd, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Today’s confirmation that will provide free ultra-fast connections to many residences with awkward access is good news, a telecommunications commentator says.

Network provider Chorus announced in partnership with the Government today that it would contribute $20 million towards the cost of connecting “non-standard” homes, in an effort to encourage greater uptake of high-speed broadband.

Up to 30 per cent of homes within the UFB rollout zone are thought to have fallen into the Chorus “non-standard” category.

Paul Brislen, of the Telecommunication Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ), said many urban houses were more than 15m from the street, Chorus’ previous limit for free .

So today’s announcement that Chorus would extend that limit to 200m was “tremendous”.

“That captures 99.3 per cent of the [UFB network] population, possibly even more …That means everybody that can get connected will be able to without extra cost.”

Excellent.

However, Brislen said there was a drawback in that the offer only lasted until 2015, by which time only about a third of the network would be completed.

“Most of the connections for residential customers won’t take place until after 2015, so we need to use this to get the ball rolling and then revisit it rather quickly.”

I suspect come 2015, things may get extended – time will tell.

Chorus, which has contracts to provide 70 per cent of the Government’s UFB network, has so far rolled out 1500km of ultra-fast fibre, enough to connect 72,000 customers.

But to date, only 700 have signed up.

Brislen said the problem was that speed alone was not enough to encourage many customers to switch to UFB. Overseas, penetration of ultra-fast broadband was about 38 per cent and a good uptake in New Zealand was important to justify the expense.

Absolutely few will sign up for speed alone. What will push uptake is when companies such as Sky roll out TV and movies on demand services that work far better over fibre. A killer home video-conferencing app that works through your TV set and is as simple to use as a TV remote will also get people flocking to it.

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15 Responses to “The Chorus deal”

  1. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    DPF: But to date, only 700 have signed up.

    National’s flagship policy. Where they promised to know better than consumers what consumers need. They therefore took our money, and spend it.

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  2. Dave Stringer (182 comments) says:

    HSB is a technology that is expected to serve NZ society for generations, making a big play for immediate take-up is appropriate for shareholers benefit, but yet to have true value for consumers (though corporate consumption will no-doubt rise quickly).

    At issue today is what benefit there is today to connecting my home to the HSB network. My current connection provides me with all the bandwidth and bitvolume I need (and more, as I rarely use my full capacity). Until there are significant new services that can only be acquired with a high-speed high-volume connection, there’s no need for the extra expense.

    (BTW I can download as many movies on demand as I require via SKY’s satellite, and Skype’s video conferencing workes fine too. We need significant new imagining)

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  3. CJPhoto (183 comments) says:

    The fact is, with the current restrictions on (legal) online services in NZ, there is very little need to UFB.

    The slow uptake is also in part due to the fact that Telecom (and I think telstraclear and Vodafone) dont even offer Fibre plans yet. So unless the majority of the population whats to change provider, they aren’t going to sign up.

    Chorus is meant to be rolling past my house in 2013-2014. Telecom (and others) should all have plans by then and hopefully there will be some good NZ services available.

    I will sign up regardless, but others will need some good incentives.

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  4. JeffW (303 comments) says:

    I ask every time, but never get an answer – why is the taxpayer involved in subsidising delivery of movies and TV via the network?

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  5. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    Why do you ask Jeff? National is in the business of delivering essential services to you. You know, bread and games. The traditional domains of governments.

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  6. dime (8,789 comments) says:

    Dime is one of the 700.

    Not overly impressed to be honest!

    Forced onto fibre (wanted it) but only given the option of one provider.

    even though chorus did the installation. its a scam and not cool.

    oh yeah, my super fast fibre – i get max download speed of about 2.9

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  7. Peter (1,471 comments) says:

    In Wellington. Happy to sign up immediately.

    Whenever they get around to laying the cable…..they appear to have focused on the regions first? Weird.

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  8. Peter (1,471 comments) says:

    People used to say 56K was plenty fast enough. The same people are saying what laughingly passes for broadband in NZ is fast enough.

    It can never be fast enough. Bring it on.

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  9. Ed Snack (1,540 comments) says:

    Yep, access is only useful if we get decent access speeds and decent data caps. I can only get 5-7 MB down even though I’m in an ADSL2+ zone which theoretically is available. I suspect that like Dime, if I get fibre I’ll still get 5-7 MB downloads. Because although there is a bottleneck at the “last mile”, that isn’t the only bottleneck. The two main others are through the exchanges and in the minds of the ISP’s and suppliers. And of course access out beyond NZ, with just the one cable, is going to be a serious issue for a long time.

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  10. thedavincimode (6,133 comments) says:

    UFB is probably the best example of the gutless apologist Key sucking up to the media suckholes posing as journalists – spending taxpayer money that we don’t have to provide this group of marxists with a free pass into the homes and minds of every New Zealander. No true conservative government would have a bar of this and yet you all cheer from the sidelines like kids in a lolly scramble. There will be a reckoning one day and you cheerleaders will be held to account.

    Kiwiblog is just so full of retarded left wing idiots.

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  11. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    @Dime – who’s your RSP, and what are you supposed to be getting on your download?

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  12. meh (164 comments) says:

    If they’d run it past my place I’d sign up today. You’d think Wellington residential suburbs would have been high on the list but no, I’m stuck with a shit copper line that has a physical fault they can’t (won’t?) find and 4mb adsl2 if I’m lucky..

    /mutter mutter rant…

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  13. Rich Prick (1,324 comments) says:

    meh, I suspect that is because Wellington has TelstraClear’s fibre already.

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  14. OneTrack (1,979 comments) says:

    “I suspect come 2015, things may get extended – time will tell.”

    And I suspect come 2015 that Labour and the Greens will have trashed the economy so much that UFB will be the least of your worries.

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  15. Seán (396 comments) says:

    If take-up is slow I am sure it’s down to the data volume cap all providers in NZ have. In Europe this doesn’t exist, it’s old skool. It’s time NZ caught up, meaning consumers need to make their demands known, otherwise the market will always try to maximise profit based on the conditions. Change those conditions, data caps are not acceptable.

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