Ultra-fast internet? Normal will do
While the rest of New Zealand is competing for ultra-fast broadband, a Levels Valley man is just trying to get normal speed in his patch.
Jason Winter lives only a 15-minute drive from Timaru, but it feels like 15 years when talking about the speed of his internet connection.
"A five-minute YouTube clip can take half an hour to watch.
"I want to be able to connect to the internet and have the same speed as everyone else. I'm not asking for ultra-fast, just normal."
Winter lives right next to an internet cabinet, which is what people in the surrounding area connect to for their broadband services.
Winter said it offers only a limited amount of bandwidth to connect to for all the people in the area.
"If you are up at five in the morning when no-one else is using the internet it's fine, but as it starts to get on in the day it slows down completely.
"When you have kids who have to use the internet for schoolwork or use it for work, it's a bit of a joke," he said.
Winter has approached both Chorus and MP Jacqui Dean.
Chorus, which owns the cabinet, told Winter only a small number of people were using it and it would not upgrade it.
Chorus told him it would cost about $35,000 to replace the cabinet for no benefit to the company.
"I am happy to contribute but it's something we need for work and school these days," Winter said. "It is almost essential to our lives."
Winter said eventually it would impact on the house prices in the area.
"You need broadband for work and school. It's an essential part of our day-to-day lives now."
Winter's house is Dean's electorate and he also approached her.
Dean said she had only recently heard about the issue but had written to the Communications Minister Amy Adams for more information.
"I know this isn't a new scenario. There are plenty of similar ones happening like this around the country."
Dean said the communications industry was privately run and was trying to make a profit like everyone else.
The Timaru Herald