Yesterday marked the official launch of the Waikato's ultra fast broadband rollout and ironically three of the four official speakers did not have access to fibre at their rural homes!
Obviously that is not an ideal situation and it helped illustrate the gaping hole in New Zealand's connectivity. The first phase of the Hamilton fibre network actually completed back in January and with it, Hamilton became the sixteenth urban area to have Ultra Fast Fibre Broadband rolled out, but most importantly it was the largest urban area to date and it was completed six months AHEAD of schedule.
The Minister of Communications Amy Adams heralded the Ultra Fast Fibre Network as "the future" and "the number one economic enabler", but she also agreed that New Zealand's farms are not necessarily going to see fibre at their properties. "I only have $210 million to work with. I have to work out how I can get fibre to the most number of people possible with the money I have available," Adams said. Connecting rural properties would mean spending a lot of money to get fibre to a small amount of people, she said.
Adams is rightly focused on getting bang for her buck.
Though a lot of farms not being able to access fibre was not an Achilles heel for the sector in terms of viability, Adams argued as there were other ways to get faster internet speeds including having cell towers supporting wireless connections with 100 megabit connections.
With Hamilton phase one complete, it is not long before phase two will roll out and communities can put their case forward to the government to connect.
The possibilities with UFB are limitless and communities should get on board, Adams said.
"UFB will do for New Zealand what the railways did for transport."
According to Ultra Fast Fibre chief executive William Hamilton there were 170 homes a day signing up to the fast fibre in Hamilton City, which also has one of the biggest uptakes in New Zealand at 20 per cent. This is absolutely fantastic for internet in New Zealand. We can only hope that these Hamiltonians are comparing fibre broadband in Hamilton providers because there is a wide range of prices, packages and data deals to be explored. If you live in the Hamilton area and are looking to compare broadband providers in Hamilton the visit the Broadband Compare free tool, insert you Hamilton address and compare Hamilton broadband providers to find the best Hamilton broadband provider, the cheapest Hamilton broadband provider and the best broadband plans in Hamilton.