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Current as of 02/12/16 07:39PM NZST
Sophie Ryan is online editor for the Business Herald

Lack of communication hampers fibre rollout

Getting fibre into apartments at The Galleries in downtown Auckland has been a complicated process. Photo / Geoff Dale.
Getting fibre into apartments at The Galleries in downtown Auckland has been a complicated process. Photo / Geoff Dale.

A telecommunications industry spokesman says the organisations involved in the fibre roll-out need to get better at sharing information so the sometimes troublesome installation process can improve.

People wanting to get ultra-fast broadband in apartment buildings and other multi-dwelling units (MDUs) have raised concerns around the speed and complexity of the installation process.

Body corporate managers in Central Auckland told the Business Herald that the construction phase of getting fibre connected - overseen by Chorus - was relatively smooth, but people then struggled to connect individual apartments to the network.

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Chief executive of the Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) Craig Young said there was a delay between the installation of fibre into MDUs and users then being able to connect through their service provider.

Service providers and fibre companies such as Chorus, shared information on what stage installations were at, but that information would not always be up to date, Young said.

READ MORE:
Tangled fibre maze for apartment broadband

"There's an ongoing issue, it seems, with the interface between the fibre companies and the service providers in ensuring the data is up to date.

"The interface between those two organisations is not working as well it could be."

WATCH: Chorus-produced animation describing the installation process for UFB in a 'multi-dwelling' unit:

Video

Herald readers have shared their struggles with getting connected to ultra-fast broadband.

Andrew Stanley lives in the Heritage Tower in Nelson Street, central Auckland. He said he was told last April that the apartment building was connected to the fibre network and each floor was connected. He then requested ultra-fast broadband from Vodafone in September, but is still not connected and won't be until April.

Keith Taylor, who moved into an apartment building on Auckland's North Shore last winter said he was able to connect to ultra-fast broadband through a "small and nimble" ISP within a week of moving in.

"We were the exception," he said.

"Almost every resident has stories of their battles to get connected."


Ian, who lives in a block of eight flats in Queenstown said it took six months and four scoping visits to have his flat connected the fibre network.

"I am tech savvy but still I was at the limit of my ability and I can't imagine what it must be like for those with limited understanding of UFB... and everything else.

"The planning process seems to be a dog's breakfast, and co-ordination is at a minimum - some workers did not know what had already been previously by others."

Industry representative Geoff Thorn, chief executive of the Telecommunications Forum, said the industry was "refining its processes", but denied a lack of communication as being the cause of difficulties in MDU installations.

Manager of consents and acquisition at Chorus, Mark Mayerhofler, said Chorus and ISPs maintain communication throughout the installation process and the most common difficulties arise during the consent process.

- NZ Herald

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