When the Government-backed ultrafast broadband network is rolled out, some Blenheim residents and businesses will have a choice of up to three networks to connect to.
The marathon nationwide rollout of fibre-optic cable by Chorus is expected to take place over three phases in eight years, aimed at increasing the quality and speed of internet and improving business productivity.
Chorus' first phase in Blenheim has been to make cable available to schools, Wairau Hospital, and 3000 homes and businesses in central Blenheim and the northern end of Springlands.
According to their website, they are a month behind schedule, with some addresses such as High St and Wynen St to be finished by the end of July.
Nelson-based Tasman Network's fibre-optic service has been available in Blenheim and Picton since 2010 and TelstraClear has a fibre/copper hybrid cable in Blenheim capable of delivering ultrafast services to businesses only.
PcMedia managing director and technical consultant Lee Harper said the upshot of having three different ultrafast networks in Blenheim is that customers will get better deals and quality products.
"By the end of the ultrafast rollout Blenheim will have an extensive fibre network which will give homes and businesses access to world-class ultrafast internet connectivity."
So when can you get connected to this world class service and how much will it cost?
If you want access to ultrafast broadband, the cable has to be running past your house or business to access it because a physical connection will need to be made to your house underground, or in some cases by overhead wires.
To find out when fibre-optic cable will be rolled out past your driveway go to: www.chorus.co.nz /fibre-availability.
TelstraClear media relations manager Gary Bowering said people interested in their packages should get in touch with the TelstraClear business team. He could not give an idea of prices because they make packages case by case, depending on companies' requirements.
Chorus and Tasman Network are both encouraging people to go directly through ISPs such as Nelson-based Pacific.net or Palmerston North-based Inspire.net or to an internet consultant for more personalised advice.
Many people and businesses have already approached about getting connected to ultrafast broadband and Mr Harper has been working closely with ISPs about what they can offer, he said.
Generally the initial connection to the Tasman Network through Pacific.net will be free, he said.
But in the instance of a long driveway, there could be a charge, or customers could be locked in to a three-year contract.
Pacific.net packages vary in price depending on use and are mainly aimed at supplying businesses, but monthly line fees start from $170 plus $40 for 10 gigabytes of data, he said.
ISPs are still to confirm prices of packages through the Chorus network but a typical monthly charge would probably start from $90 for the line, with a base fibre speed of 30 megabits per second download and 10Mbps upload and a data cap of 40GB.
Businesses would typically pay about $150 a month for the same service, he said.
- The Marlborough Express