Orcon first retailer on UFB network

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 10:06 06/09/2011

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State-owned internet provider Orcon says four Whangarei schools are the first customers on the ultrafast broadband (UFB) network after the company began servicing the schools connected with fibre by Northpower as part of the UFB scheme.

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Manaia View Primary School principal Leanne Otene said the service, with 50 megabit per second uploads and downloads, was making a significant difference.

''We're uploading and downloading video incredibly quickly and the iPod Touches in use in our classrooms are humming. We now have an innovative broadband service to match the way we teach.''

A 2009 Education Ministry report found a quarter of 972 schools surveyed were already accessing the internet over fibre-optic cable. Almost all urban and rural schools should be connected by 2015 as a result of the UFB and Rural Broadband Initiatives, which will comprise a total investment of about $4 billion.

Orcon would not reveal its pricing as it had put together a ''very good price'' for the schools, which was ''not at this stage indicative of what the company will be offering to businesses and residential customers''.

- BusinessDay.co.nz

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