It was strange that National didn't slap its own back harder about the success of the ultra fast broadband project during the election.

The UFB venture isn't perfect, and not everywhere in New Zealand, but compared to how messy state-sponsored broadband rollouts in other countries have been, ours has gone really rather well.

Our dear friends in Australia continue to make a dog's dinner out of their National Broadband Network (NBN) which isn't very national or particularly broadband compared to the UFB.

The latest across the Tasman is that the NBN probably won't ever make a profit as per the original rollout plan; I would suggest not mentioning your 200 and 1000 megabit per second fibre connections to Australian friends as that's likely to lead to angry scenes when theirs max out at 50Mbps.


Over here though, quite a few roadblocks on the information superhypeway have been removed and it's just not such an issue any more to get broadband, although I do make a point of checking when looking for somewhere to live.

The availability of high-speed network connections all the way from people's houses and small businesses, through nationwide backhaul circuits and now-plentiful overseas transmission capacity still leaves one missing link: inside the UFB connected premises.

Long story short, adding a UFB connection to your house and not paying attention to how your devices connects to it will make you wonder if that fancy fibre-optic link was a waste of money.

It's not, but keeping things humming nicely with a 200 Mbps or faster UFB connection requires a bit of planning.

Since nobody wants to use network cables anymore - and you'll be connecting multiple mobile devices anyway - WiFi is the broadband delivery medium of choice.

First thing people notice is that the single ISP-supplied WiFi router probably isn't going to be enough in many cases. This especially if you have a 200 to 300 square metres floor space mansion - the signal won't reach every bit of your house.

Here, it might be tempting to upgrade your WiFi router from the local electronics megastore to fix the problem.

They sell $800-to-$1000 alien headcrab monsters with big chunky aerials that look straight from the worst of 80s design.


The additional aerials and increased power might help a bit, and newer WiFi routers have refinements that make them work better with multiple devices sending and receiving traffic at the same time.

Nevetheless, unless all your devices support the latest and greatest tech baked into the big expensive WiFi router, you're throwing money away.

The radios in the WiFi router and the device need to talk to each other the same way, or they'll drop down to older, slower standards.

If you have a big house, look into a mesh WiFi system like Google's or an equivalent from vendors such as Ubiquity.

Not only do they look less outrageous, but they'll cost less and work better, joined up with each other as a single network.

Of course, if you're a poor soul still stuck on ADLS over copper lines, the above doesn't matter.

Nothing will make your internet connection go faster besides a technology switch.

Why am I saying all this? I've heard from people who've been sold expensive gear as a fix for bad in-house network coverage, by ignorant and unscrupulous store owners who don't understand how technology works.

ISPs could do more to help here and consider their customers UFB connection needs better and supply more suitable routers - the internet is still end to end, and good connections start at the premises.

Still though, working out how to get 100s of megabits per second to each part of your dwelling's quite a nice first-world problem to have. Just don't tell the Aussies that.