A giganation?

August 5th, 2014 at 4:02 pm by David Farrar

have said:

It’s time for a ‘Giganation’ says Telecom as UFB coverage hits 100%

Telecom, soon to be Spark New Zealand, says the time has come for Gigabit per second data download speeds to be available across all of New Zealand’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) network.

Telecom made the call today as its Ultra Fibre products became available in the Taupo area – making it the only Internet Service Provider (ISP) selling fibre broadband services everywhere in New Zealand where the UFB network is currently active.

“When the UFB network rollout began in 2012, the standard download speeds available were 30 or 100 Megabits per second (Mbps),” says Telecom’s General Manager Product and Service Delivery, Lindsay Cowley.

“Since then, we’ve seen encouraging product innovation and speed increases across the four fibre companies who are contracted by the Government to build the UFB network and offer wholesale services to ISPs. Telecom has worked constructively with all LFCs to bring fibre products to people around New Zealand.

“A top download speed of 1000 Megabits, or 1 Gigabit, per second – the maximum technically possible under the UFB network’s current configuration – is now on the table as Ultrafast Fibre Ltd has announced it will launch the product throughout their coverage area of approximately 162,000 addresses in the central North Island.

I agree with Telecom. I love being on fibre and have chosen a 30/10 package as that is all I need for now. But demand keeps growing and we want everyone on UFB to have the option of a 1 Gb/s connection so people can choose the connection speed (and price) most suitable to them.

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25 Responses to “A giganation?”

  1. ROJ (121 comments) says:

    Am seriously considering changing from Vodafone, as they haven’t offered a service 18 months after fibre went up our street.

    Then again, Telecom only offered it a few days ago …

    So much for making money when the govt paid so much to kick start it

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  2. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    All crap. Where I am, which is a suburb of a city and not a bush land, there is not even a date by which we will get UFB. By the time we get UFB, there will be some other technology which will make Fibre redundant….

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  3. Igotta Numbum (463 comments) says:

    Sir Cullen, yep same here… by the time UFB arrives, we’ll have 5G here… Gigabit to the palm of your hand.

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  4. Tarquin North (298 comments) says:

    SCS, you should shift to Whangarei where everyone get fibre except for me.

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  5. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    I’ve been on fibre about a year now. One has to be careful about bandying the numbers about.

    I started in the 30Mbs plan. When they installed it they did a speed test and got very close to that. But this was to the telecom servers. I did a speed test to a California based server and the speed was more like 6Mbs.

    So its still pretty quick but getting gigabit out of the fibre isn’t going to speed up content from overseas, and content from local providers is fast enough at 30. And of course it can only be as fast as the internal cabling can move the data, or the wireless router can deliver to several concurrently connected devices

    Probably different of you are a business and need to be able to move big amounts of data within NZ, but otherwise…?

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  6. lolitasbrother (698 comments) says:

    1Gb/sec, I believe it when I see it

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  7. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    I suspect broadband access is like everything else out there.

    1 size does not necessarily fit all. Let people and the market show us what is wanted rather than have central authorities dictate what we need and spend.

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  8. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    The Southern Cross cable currently has a duplex lit capacity of 2.7Tb/s.

    That means we only have enough international connectivity to supply 1,350 gigabit circuits (and nobody else).

    I presume I’m not the only person who sees the obvious problem.

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  9. projectman (224 comments) says:

    “UFB coverage hits 100%”.

    Yeah right.

    Utter bullshit – and it will be a long time before even many of the reasonably densely populated areas receive UFB.

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  10. jawnbc (85 comments) says:

    Complete spin and nonsense: I’m in “the super city less than 10km from the CBD and we’re not even on the plan for fibre. Or VDSL.

    What galls me is that I get 4G at my house—but Telecom won’t sell me a 4G residential plan. I would happily pay a similar amount for a 4G residential plans as what they charge for fibre at a similar speed.

    So much for the cleverness of the markets….

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  11. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    I have UFB up my street but cant even get reliable 3G coverage! arrrgh!

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  12. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    NZ have done the right thing with the UFB rollout — just compare it with Australia where they have completely stuffed it up for a whoe bunch more than we spent.

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  13. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    “It’s time for a ‘Giganation’ says Telecom as UFB coverage hits 100%”

    That’s a lie – it’s nowhere near 100%

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  14. GJM (62 comments) says:

    I would settle for getting ADSL even though I can see the sky tower from my window

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  15. Slipster (170 comments) says:

    GJM: With ADSL it’s not what you can see from your window that counts. ADSL is VERY sensitive to distance. And it’s not the distance to the SkyTower but to your phone exchange. Moreover, the distance isn’t “as crow flies” but means the length of the actual cable connecting you, with all its bends, loops and detours. At a guess, if you truly can’t get ADSL in the city or near, that’s probably why.

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  16. Jim (398 comments) says:

    @gump

    The Southern Cross cable currently has a duplex lit capacity of 2.7Tb/s.

    That means we only have enough international connectivity to supply 1,350 gigabit circuits (and nobody else).

    I presume I’m not the only person who sees the obvious problem.

    Gigabit doesn’t mean a permanent reserved capacity for each user to everywhere in the world. There is a huge amount of elasticity when aggregating many intermittently used connections (and still having users reach gigabit peak when they need it).

    For example, I’m on a 100Mbit connection and a fairly heavy user (lots of HD TV series on auto-download) – regularly pushing my connection to 90Mbit/s when an episode is downloading. However my average consumption (total month traffic) is only 2Mbit/s (50:1 ratio). There are a lot of people who are on a 5000:1 ratio just web browsing and iTunes and super happy with that as everything is really fast for them. You need to factor that in when looking at total aggregate bandwidth.

    Also: if I upgraded to gigabit then my average consumption would not change. I don’t have excess demand that is not met by my current bandwidth. Most users are going to be in this case (unless they are on shitty 150kbps lines and just give up waiting at the moment).

    Benefit of gigabit is mostly about higher instantaneous peak throughput. Streaming HD movies starting faster, downloads finishing faster, etc.

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  17. infused (654 comments) says:

    1gbit is a load of crap. Yeah, for national traffic it’s good. But it will be throttled to shit.

    Most isps don’t even have 1gbit of international bandwidth.

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  18. Jim (398 comments) says:

    1gbit is a load of crap. Yeah, for national traffic it’s good. But it will be throttled to shit.

    Most isps don’t even have 1gbit of international bandwidth

    Partially true. Today’s gigabit is more about marketing hype, paying too much for nothing, and an ISP pissing contest than delivering anything useful.

    But the general trend is good. The ease that we can compare performance and prices across providers nationally and internationally offers a great market knowledge tool to smart consumers.

    Having 1gbit is really going to sort the men from the boys when it comes to ISPs international bandwidth comparisons. That’s good. Bring it on!

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  19. infused (654 comments) says:

    Also to note: The current 100mbit plans have a 2.5mbit cir… what’s 1gbit going to have?

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  20. Conor (26 comments) says:

    Telecom’s request for 1Gbps relates to what we can theoretically pull down from the network. Obviously what speed a customer gets will be dependent on local factors and what they are accessing.

    1Gbps is now being marketed by UFF in the central North Island and will be offered by Chorus to the winner of the Gigatown competition. Given it is already being offered by a LFC, we believe it should be available across the country.

    The “UFB coverage hits 100%” statement relates to the fact Telecom is now the only ISP that has product offerings in each of the areas that the four fibre companies has laid cable (not that everyone can get it – that obviously depends on whether the LFC has built the infrastructure outside your house/business).

    Given we are now in a position to market fibre products across the country, we would like a consistent range (from the standard 30/10 input to a 1000/500 input) of speed/price inputs to provide to customers. Customer shouldn’t face one speed/price in one area and another in another area, just because an ISP has to buy different inputs depending on where they are.

    Conor Roberts
    Telecom Head of Public Affairs

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  21. G152 (341 comments) says:

    Trouble is we have great? speed in NZ until we try to work overseas and the old garden gate cuts the speed back.
    Another cable is required by yesterday-

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  22. GJM (62 comments) says:

    Slipster – “GJM: With ADSL it’s not what you can see from your window that counts. ADSL is VERY sensitive to distance. And it’s not the distance to the SkyTower but to your phone exchange. Moreover, the distance isn’t “as crow flies” but means the length of the actual cable connecting you, with all its bends, loops and detours. At a guess, if you truly can’t get ADSL in the city or near, that’s probably why.”

    I am aware of thet. I am north of Bombay, guarding Auckland latte drinkers from the instant coffee guzzlers of the south ;-)
    The exchange is ~2KM away, but the cable runs over the back of Ariirmu before returning, and was put in after the war and not touched since – a run of 20km. Even dialup was poor due to noise. Telecom have said they have no intention of upgrading the line since it is acceptable for voice (usually).

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  23. infused (654 comments) says:

    Current cable has more than enough capacity. It’s the pricing of the bandwidth that holds isps back.

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  24. Fletch (6,390 comments) says:

    I’m out in the country and it took years just to get normal broadband. I can’t see us getting fibre in a hurry.

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  25. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Jim

    I work in IT and am entirely aware that UFB doesn’t provide a Gigabit CIR.

    The point I’m making is that Gigabit to the home is simply marketing fluff that has no meaningful connection to reality.

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