Your most frequently asked questions about ultra-fast broadband:
- What is ultra-fast broadband (UFB)?
- Why do we need UFB?
- What is fibre optic cable?
- What is the Ultra-fast Broadband initiative?
- What determines who will receive UFB services first?
- Which companies are rolling out UFB in New Zealand?
- When will you get UFB?
- How much will it cost to get UFB?
Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) is defined as a fibre-to-the-premises broadband service that provides downlink speeds of at least 100 Mbps (megabits per second) and uplink speeds of at least 50 Mbps.
By way of comparison, the average speed measured by web services firm Akamai in 2011 in New Zealand was 3.5Mbps.
Broadband improvements can increase economic activity.
The Internet has become part of the way New Zealanders live, learn and do business.
We’re hungry for faster Internet speed and the ability to exchange large amounts of information.
There is also a desire to find faster and better ways to search, process and use information.
New technologies put increasing demands on the capacity on the broadband network infrastructure.
An optical fibre is a thin glass or plastic strand that carries light along its length. Light from lasers is shone down the fibre and detected by a receiver at the other end.
Optical fibre is capable of transmitting information at an almost unlimited rate over very long distances.
It is much faster than copper wire or wireless transmission, and copes better with the increasing demand for bandwidth.
The Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative is a government programme to expand and develop our broadband services.
The government is contributing $1.35 billion to the initiative with significant amounts of private co-investment also being contributed by the government’s Ultra-fast Broadband partners.
Ultra-fast broadband is defined as a fibre-to-the-premise service, which means to our homes, schools or businesses. The programme’s goal is to accelerate the ultra-fast broadband roll-out over 10 years to 75 percent of New Zealanders where they live, work and study.
Schools, hospitals and 90 percent of urban businesses will be connected by 2015. Urban homes and the remaining 10 percent of businesses will be connected by 2019.
In the first six years, the roll-out will prioritise deployment to schools, health premises and businesses.
The framework for prioritisation includes:
- In the initial period, areas of high demand
- Areas of high density
- Build on from existing networks transferring into the UFB scheme (Chorus in Auckland, Wellington, etc. Enable in Christchurch)
- Due consideration to things like Rugby World Cup, working with local works underway, etc.
- Likely costs of deployment (determined by geology & topography, local planning rules, etc.)
The contracts covering Whangarei and the central North Island (Hamilton, Tauranga, etc.) were signed approximately six months before those covering the rest of the country, so it is to be expected the roll-out will be a little ahead in these areas.
The government has set up Crown Fibre Holdings Limited (CFH) to manage its $1.35 billion investment in broadband infrastructure.
Crown Fibre Holding’s role is to monitor the roll outs in each area by local fibre companies.
Crown Fibre has negotiated agreements with four providers to connect fibre to different regions.
The schedule will be available on the website of the company that has been selected to carry out the roll-out in your geographic areas.
Retail service providers set retail prices not CFH or the UFB deployment partners. Given that UFB wholesale prices previously announced are the same or lower than current wholesale prices, it is expected retail fibre prices for the residential market will be the same or lower than for services over copper, but for a far more superior offering.
Wholesale household prices will start at $40 or less per month for an entry level product and $60 per month for the 100 megabit product. There are no connection charges for households in the ultra-fast broadband areas.