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Broadband wait bytes

DIANA WORTHY
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014
WMP Pool
BAD MOVE: Dave Malan wishes he had never had his broadband disconnected to save cash while he was away.

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Disgruntled Dave Malan got disconnected from broadband before heading to Europe for three months but never thought he'd have problems getting hooked up again once he got home.

What started as a way to save money has turned into a major headache for the Rocky Bay resident who now finds himself on a 240-day waiting list to be reconnected by Telecom.

Getting the service, let alone the pipe dream of ultra fast, is a problem for 42 households on the island.

Nine are in Rocky Bay - a well populated area with metal roads and tourist attractions that is classed as rural for the purposes of broadband provision.

Mr Malan says he would never have got his service disconnected if he'd known what lay ahead.

He says the $500 he saved is not worth the inconvenience.

"I was not warned there would be a wait."

Mr Malan tried to argue that his work as president of The Omiha Recreation and Welfare Society could be classed as business use but got nowhere - although he was offered free dial-up.

He wonders if Telecom's broadband hardware and maintenance division Chorus has provided enough mini-exchange boxes in the area. The Business, Innovation and Employment ministry and Chorus won't say why Rocky Bay is classed as rural or why it has problems getting even ordinary broadband.

A ministry spokeswoman says only parts of Waiheke Island, including all three schools, will be covered under the Government's ultra-fast broadband initiative.

She says Auckland is one of 33 areas in the country due to receive ultra-fast broadband but the boundaries for the new service are based on targets for the total numbers of people to be covered.

The decision over who gets what is down to central government and big business interested in potential profits.

"The Rural Broadband Initiative and Chorus roll-out areas have been determined in partnership with the Government, Crown Fibre Holdings and Vodafone," a Chorus spokeswoman says.

She says improved coverage should be completed by June next year.

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