Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Super slow broadband wait

GTL Networks says it has waited five months to be hooked up. Photo / Stuart Munro
GTL Networks says it has waited five months to be hooked up. Photo / Stuart Munro

A small business on the first street in Auckland to get ultra-fast broadband estimates it has lost tens of thousands of dollars in sales after waiting five months to get hooked up to the internet service.

Albany-based GTL Networks, which distributes tele-communications products, is in the process of releasing a video conferencing service in the local market but said it can't do this until it gets high speed internet.

GTL's general manager Greg Malone said the company has already spent more than $25,000 on this product and that the firm would have lost tens of thousands of dollars in sales because of its inability to provide demonstrations of the video-conferencing working.

The business, which employs eight people, is on Paul Matthews Road - the street where infrastructure company Chorus kicked off its Auckland UFB rollout in August 2011.

In February, GTL placed an order for ultra-fast broadband with IT services firm Citcom.

Initially, there was an issue because GTL shared a driveway with more than one business but the necessary consents were gained in March for Chorus to hook the company up to the fibre network.

However in April, Chorus said that civil works were needed because a duct coming into the building was either blocked or full, Malone told the Herald.

Malone said the company was still waiting for something to happen and that it "seems odd" on the first street to get fibre in Auckland that a business was "waiting five months with no luck".

When asked about the issue, Chorus told the Herald that civil works had started for the installation yesterday.

Chorus spokesman Ian Bonnar said the situation wasn't normal and that it should take six days for a standard business connection once the consent process is completed.

"In this case the consent process took about a month, but since then it appears that our communication to the customer on this issue hasn't been good enough. It wasn't immediately clear if new infrastructure would be required or not, and when it was we should have done a better job of keeping all parties informed about what was happening when. We offer our sincere apologies to them for that," Bonnar said.

The $1.5 billion UFB scheme aims to offer internet speeds of around 100 megabits a second - up to 20 times more than the speeds average residential users experienced in 2010 - to 75 per cent of New Zealand by 2019.

- NZ Herald

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