Businesses welcome UFB promise
Small to medium-sized Nelson businesses are likely to be the big winners from a rollout of ultra-fast broadband, expected to hit the region next month.
Telecommunications company Chorus is laying fibre optic cables in the region as part of a three-stage, eight-year Government plan to modernise the country's telecommunications infrastructure.
The new fibre will offer customers drastically increased speeds and more reliable service than broadband, and compete with Network Tasman's existing fibre network.
Chorus spokesman Robin Kelly said fibre was being rolled out across the country, and was due in Nelson in September.
Once the fibre was laid, residents would receive a letter in their mailbox, and would then need to speak to their internet service provider about connecting to the new network.
People could also visit the "Our Network Upgrade Map" section of the Chorus website.
Connection is free for houses and businesses within 15 metres of the cable running down the street.
He encouraged people buying a new house, or renovating their house, to visit the "Wiring for Fibre" section of the Chorus website.
Nelson-based ISP Pacific.net technical manager Justin Wells said ultra-fast broadband would offer speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, up from the maximum of 20 mbs/sec available on ADSL lines.
Small businesses would be the main winners from the rollout, he said.
Retired Nelson man John Williams runs a business marketing self-catering holiday cottages in Britain, trading under the name Sentrix Group Ltd.
He receives about 2000 visitors a day to his website, and profits are looking good, with about three times the bookings he had last year.
But his productivity is occasionally hampered by slow connection speeds.
His business is done entirely online, with servers based in the United States piping content to internet users in Britain, so he said he was hopeful that fibre would make a difference.
"I want to be right into this, because it's obviously worth money to us if we can be quicker in what we're doing," Mr Williams said.
"If you can get ready to hit the button as soon as the service comes, you're that much better on the international market."
Snap Information Technologies Ltd chief executive Chris Rodley said ultra-fast broadband would revolutionise his business.
His company designs and builds its own range of panoramic and time-lapse cameras, providing live feeds from locations around New Zealand for the websites of companies like the MetService, Trade Me and Facebook.
The Nelson company gained a new client, their first international business, at the Smithsonian Museum in New York.
Higher speeds would mean his own company could offer far better service, he said.
"All our systems have been designed to work on really slow speed connections. [With ultra-fast broadband] we can start to stream content at multiple frames per second. It opens up way more doors.
"It's a big deal, it's going to make a big difference in the Nelson business sector, and the New Zealand business sector."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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