back to article Kiwis get cracking with gigabit residential broadband

While Australians wait for a copper network “upgrade” that can't be guaranteed to deliver better than 25 Mbps, a speed war has broken out across the Tasman, with residential gigabit plans arriving at wholesale prices that could see households pay under $NZ100 per month. The wholesaler has announced the offering is now available …

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Fibre's finally viable

I live in Hamilton and we recently changed from a 175GB/month ADSL/voice plan for $95/month to an uncapped 30/10Mbit fibre/VoIP plan for $99/month. It has taken a while before there was any point going to fibre since in my experience the limiting factor was always the data cap. Doesn't matter how fast it is if all that changes is how quickly I can hit my cap and get throttled to 64Kbit (yes, kilobits, approx twice dialup speed).

I've watched the shambles in Australia for a while now and it's disturbing that there are politicians who think so short-term. They're meant to be leading the country into the future but they're entrenching themselves in the past.

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Re: Fibre's finally viable

I'm lucky enough to live in an area of Australia that got fibre before the current government canned it. It's ridiculous to think that last mile copper is good enough. Once you're more than 300m from the terminal, the speeds are no better than ADSL, not to mention corroded old lines and line duplexing, the new NBN plan is a farce.

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Unhappy

Re: Fibre's finally viable

You probably live in Gungahlin. How Telecom (Telstra?) was allowed to install twin pairing should be the subject of a royal commission. But for most of Australia, if you live in a metropolitan area, you get quite reasonable bandwidth off copper. If you don't, then by all means buy yourself a fibre connection, but don't do it with my taxes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fibre's finally viable

I don't have any kids, and never will (had the snip). Why should my taxes pay for other peoples' children's schools? I am also healthy, why am I paying for hospitals? And those roads I never drive on! Why am I paying for all these things I never use!

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Mushroom

Re: Fibre's finally viable

Total fail fluffy bunny, you must be a tony abort supporter. I live in a metropolitan area and along with my friends and neighbours we have considerable problems with the copper. At least once or twice a week we have telstra out sorting out yet another bad connection.

Noisy lines drop outs weather dependant connections flaky internet performance etc.

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Re: Fibre's finally viable

"You probably live in Gungahlin. How Telecom (Telstra?) was allowed to install twin pairing should be the subject of a royal commission. But for most of Australia, if you live in a metropolitan area, you get quite reasonable bandwidth off copper. If you don't, then by all means buy yourself a fibre connection, but don't do it with my taxes."

Reasonable bandwidth? Reasonable now or reasonable in the future? Copper is already at the end of it's life and at some time everybody's taxes will be spent on replacing it.

The other option is to let Telstra continue to sell sub standard services at a premium price because it's a monopoly.

As for tax dollars, Joe Hockey just spent $50K taking some bankers out to dinner. I'd rather my money was spent on a proper NBN than a Clayton's NBN that will have to be ripped out and done again because the Libs thought that they save a few bucks.......

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Is now the time to mention that there is a touch of Kiwi in my ancestry?

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Devil

Why not bro, Kimmy . com will no doubt join you when ya do...

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The Kiwi is a flightless bird. Show me your feathers.

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Anonymous Coward

Should probably mention the fact that this super-duper, affordable UFB gigabit network will exist far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm of the Globe (liberal license taken, with apologies to the late Mr Adams).

But this service will be great for all those people running multiple HD video streams from our local video streaming service operated by .... um, oh ... never mind.

But there's still all those households filled with gamers all hitting the local MPG server farms hosted by ... um, oh.... never mind that too.

Well, at least businesses using IaaS or SaaS or PaaS clouds hosted by the major cloud services providers in their NZ data centres will benefit from the proximity of those centres in the NZ region, at ... um, oh.... crap.

Still, for the local file-sharing community it will be a great boost... if only it weren't for that pesky law that made such things illegal on pain of disconnection from the gloriously endowed network, eh ?

Yep, envy us with our undreamed of speed shunting around enormous volumes of data for chump change ... then console yourself with the fact that anything coming or going beyond these Emerald Isles has to be squeeeeeezed down the itty-bitty little pipe that connects us to the rest of the world.

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You're correct of course, it's a chicken and egg problem.

The user's don't access the high-bandwidth content because the infrastructure can't support it. The content providers don't set up datacentres to supply high-bandwidth content because there's no users to justify the cost.

You highlight one big limitation, being the uplink to the rest-of-the-world. There's no point in addressing that as there's no demand from the users: even if Netflicks were to set up shop in NZ, the kiwis would get poor performance due to the limited bandwidth of their connections.

This would take away that bottleneck. Big content would have viable infrastructure to create a local mirror of their content for the NZ market. That would theoretically generate the traffic needed to make a higher-capacity uplink more viable, assuming the services were compeilling enough to get people interested.

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Happy

Actually, not chump change. At $100 per month, that's a lot more than most Aussies pay. For that money, you are paying for your fibre connection in around 3 years. It demonstrates that you don't need to suck the money out of taxpayer's wallets to do something worthwhile.

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Chucks & Eigs

Spot on and with more CDNs appearing in the local market and in Sydney this needs to happen sooner or later. It'll take years of development to complete, by which time the Hawaiki Cable should be on stream. Meanwhile Southern Cross continue to speed up too.

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Yeah you're mostly right

The issues really are the lack of domestically-based content, and the inability to (legally) obtain tv/movie content. Sky TV has the digital rights to pretty much everything you'd want to watch but has no digital download service. Other services, like Netflix, Apple TV and even iTunes are geolocked (I know you can get around this in most cases) which eliminates or limits available content. Other than downloading the odd PS4/PC game, the rest of the web is just fine over my current 50Mb/s cable service. Given our geographic location, latency is more of a killer than sheer bandwidth.

So... Because I'm a (mostly) law-abiding citizen, I can't see the point of being a Giganaire until I can legitimately get video content not consisting of funny cat videos - and that will require someone to bust apart Sky's monopoly.

As far as our itty-bitty little pipe goes, your argument is not quite so clear. NZ is better served, on a bits per capita to the USA basis, than either Australia or Europe. Per capita, Europeans only have about 75% of the capacity we do. However when you factor in that so much more of our traffic has to traverse the pipe we may well be worse off - especially when you consider that Telecoms refusal to use WIX means that a fair bit of domestic traffic has to go to LA and back...

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Those poor Aussies

I've been on UFB (NZ Fibre) in Christchurch for 6 months now (recently changed to an uncapped 100/50 plan) and I have to say you're entirely wrong about Netflix. I regularly stream HD content (as do my wife and daughter, often all simultaneously) and the international bandwidth isn't ever an issue. I also consistently get 12.5Mbytes/s on international downloads (limited by the 100Mbit down speed on my current UFB). I'll probably jump up to a 200Mbit or gigabit service in the next couple of months once these are available in my area.

I have friends and colleagues living/working in Australia and the current NBN fiasco is a farce in the worst possible way. I really feel for Australians who are still putting up with 3rd world internet because of the short-sightedness of the current political situation. Whoever thinks that whether to invest in fast broadband for the majority of their population is even a question need to take a long hard look at the wealth of accumulating research linking economic progress, quality of life and national productivity growth to general high-speed internet availability.

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Megaphone

Re: Those poor Aussies

"I've been on UFB (NZ Fibre) in Christchurch for 6 months now (recently changed to an uncapped 100/50 plan) and I have to say you're entirely wrong about Netflix. I regularly stream HD content (as do my wife and daughter, often all simultaneously) and the international bandwidth isn't ever an issue."

So you're one of those 10% of the population that can actually get it at the moment. Good for you, when we get to a customer usage rate of 70% come back here and let us know how good your experience still is.

I hope Telecom have done their homework as the data usage is going to explode exponentially. Remember several years ago when they released that unlimited ADSL plan which brought the broadband network to its knees? My connection went from 5mbps down to dial-up speed. After a few days of that shit, Telecom no longer had me as a customer.

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Anonymous Coward

Kim dot com subsidy

How much did Kimmy donate to the guverment to get this done?

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Fast network to the home is all well and good, but it doesn't really help when the trans pacific link is still dog slow. I'm sticking with ADSL2 for the moment because that isn't currently the bottleneck.

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"Fast network to the home is all well and good, but it doesn't really help when the trans pacific link is still dog slow. I'm sticking with ADSL2 for the moment because that isn't currently the bottleneck."

You assume there is something better than ADSL2. Most Australians consider themselves lucky to be able to get ADSL2.

Telstra is trying to push everyone to wireless internet which half of what you get with ADSL2 and has a data cap of 1/10th at a price double.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed, money should be spent on faster Pacific cable

Whats the use of fiber if your international torrnts are 30kbps?

Or a direct fiber connection to NSA HQ perhaps?

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>households running multiple video streams at once

Two months ago I got 1 upvote and 5 downvotes for saying "It was always going to be the replacement for FTA analog TV.". 2 years ago I got censored from the Whirlpool forums for saying something similar.

Is it still unsafe to say that the NBN was the "circuses" part of "bread and circuses", or will the classical allusion be lost on ALP voters?

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Anonymous Coward

Finally Hawera will take its rightful place amongst the significant metropolii of the world.

Gigabit Fibre (check)

Vast Dairy Factory (check)

Cosmopolitan Club (check)

(And well ahead of meblourne, sdyney, wagga, auckland, and other 3rd rate coppertons)

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Devil

So the power companies have finally got electricity into Hawera at last then...

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Build it and they will come

What virtual infrastructure do we really need now? There have been a gazillion experiments with Information Infrastructure now, the most successful being the Steve's Walled Garden kind. Why should the technopolis of Hawera need to be governed from Infinity Circle? I don't believe IBM's Smart Cities initiative is anything but PR, what do we reallly want?

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