A few snags affect UFB in Timaru

Last updated 05:00 22/01/2013
patrick tollan
OISIN DUKE/Fairfax NZ

STILL WAITING: Timaru's Patrick Tollan is waiting to be connected to ultra-fast broadband several weeks after signing the contracts.

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One of the few retail providers of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) in Timaru admits teething problems have occurred with Chorus.

Fibre-optic provider Chorus and construction firm Downer have been tasked with the UFB rollout in Timaru.

The system allows speeds up to 100 megabits per second.

More than 4500 homes have been equipped with UFB capability since its launch in June last year, but Snap appears to be the only retail provider of UFB in Timaru at the moment.

Timaru resident Patrick Tollan received consent from his property manager but said Chorus had been "nothing but frustrating" since he signed up with Snap in late December.

"I sent through all the forms, and then Chorus sent them back twice," Mr Tollan said.

"It then turned out my house was 53m away from the fibre boundary.

"Surely when the houses get scoped out, they should see these things. It's got to the stage where I felt like getting the digger out and doing the work myself."

Mr Tollan said workers had arrived on site yesterday, but he still did not have any indication when it would be complete.

Snap's retail manager, James Koers, said he had heard of similar complaints.

"When Chorus started the roll-out, there were a lot of logistical issues. They're getting better, and everyone's learning - we're not at the stage where it's ready for a large uptake."

Mr Koers said nearly everyone who had UFB installed was satisfied with the results.

"The product is great once it's connected, it's just getting the infrastructure ready."

Other issues reported by Herald readers on Facebook included workers drilling into pipes and bursting mains, or cutting off people's phone connection.

Chorus spokesperson Melanie Marshall said the ease of the installation varied.

"Some jobs are pretty straight-forward, but with others, there might be agreements that need to be reached with other property owners, or issues actually getting the fibre to the door," she said.

Telecom, Vodafone and Orcon confirmed they had not yet structured any deals for UFB in Timaru.

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- The Timaru Herald

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