People are becoming frustrated with getting connected to fibre broadband in Whanganui.

The city's fibre network was completed early last year and was one of the first in the country, but the uptake of fibre broadband is just over 17 per cent, with a number of residents having difficulty switching to it.

One of them is Graeme Ruscoe. Fibre was put into Mr Ruscoe's house in December but it still hasn't been connected to the network.

Not having Wi-Fi along with his home having an intruder and medical alarm on the copper network have caused problems. He said none of them were discussed when he ordered fibre last year.


"It's just been a total pain and a total worry to me and my wife," he said. "If I had known what was going to happen, I would never have changed."

Others have been told by providers they can't get connected in certain areas of the city, while some people whose homes are part of commercial buildings have only been offered the much more costly commercial connection.

Whanganui mayor Annette Main, who chairs the Digital Leaders Forum and is a champion of the city's digital infrastructure, is aware of some problems.

She urged people to seek assistance.

"I've heard the same - some of it is providers just not having enough capacity to do it," she said.

The issues needed to be sorted and people needed to be taking advantage of the fibre network.

"What is the use of doing all this work ... if we are being let down by the providers? It's a matter of finding where the gaps are."

Ms Main said anyone having problems getting on the fibre network could get in touch with her with their address and the name of the provider they were dealing with.

Ultrafast Fibre marketing officer Richard Riley said demand in Whanganui had been strong with 4000 connections.

Ultrafast Fibre connects customers to the network following an order from the customer's retail service provider.

"There are 17 retail service providers selling to Whanganui residents, so competition and choice for customers is high,"

Mr Riley said his company was working with retailers to improve the connection process.

"Because of the high demand, there is a queue for connections in Whanganui - and across our wider central North Island network - and we appreciate the patience of our end-user customers.

"The positive about this particular queue is the awesome benefit of fibre broadband for the customer at the end of it," he said.