Really fast broadband on hold for Chch

MARTA STEEMAN AND TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 13/06/2014
Enable is a wholesaler of ultra-fast connections.

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Christchurch ultra-fast broadband company Enable Services is not offering local households the chance to become "giganaires" just yet.

While in Hamilton, the local ultrafast broadband company there, Ultrafast Fibre, is planning to launch a 1-gigabit-a-second connection next month for households in eight centres in the region, Enable said its ultrafast connections were fast enough for local appetites at the moment.

Enable said its current residential products were 30 megabits a second and 100Mbps.

It would be launching a new 200Mbps residential service in the coming months.

"We talk to our retail service provider customers all the time and what they are telling us is that our current residential services - plus the new 200Mbps service - will meet their needs and the needs of their customers for some time," an Enable spokesman said.

Enable is a wholesaler of ultra-fast connections and the likes of Telecom, Vodafone and Snap are the retailers to households.

"We have the capability to develop and deliver faster residential fibre broadband services - including up to and beyond 1Gbps," the Enable spokesman said.

"We will continue to work with our customers and be led by their demand for new products."

Meanwhile, Ultrafast Fibre will wholesale the 1-gigabit connection at a premium, costing $65 a month, against the entry-level price of $37.50. The price paid by consumers for 1Gbps connections will be higher as the wholesale prices do not include costs and margins added by internet providers that retail the service.

Telecom would "review" the gigabit service but had not yet decided whether it would sell it, spokesman Andrew Pirie said.

Vodafone said it was "likely it would support the wholesale plan with a residential offer", but it was too early to say exactly what that might look like.

Pirie said that, while Telecom applauded the "innovation" from companies that were building UFB, it was concerned they were starting to wholesale plans with different speeds and prices, which would add to Telecom's costs.

"Fragmentation is starting to occur on what was meant to be nationally consistent UFB service," he said. "We are keen to get consistency on what we offer our customers across the country."

Ultrafast Fibre chief executive Maxine Elliott said talks with internet providers had been positive, and gigabit download speeds would provide a dramatic increase compared with what most residential broadband users currently received. "To mark the milestone, we are renaming our central North Island urban network ‘The Giganet'."

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Ultrafast Fibre will launch two other plans next month, one with a 100 megabit per second download and 20 megabit per second upload costing $45 a month, and another with a 200Mbps download and 20Mbps upload at $55.

- Fairfax Media

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