Clutha towns named in UFB ex­ten­sion

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MARY-JO TOHILL

Six Clutha Dis­trict towns have been named in an Ul­tra-Fast Broad­band (UFB) ex­ten­sion pro­gramme.

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider Cho­rus re­leased de­tailed maps on Tues­day show­ing Stir­ling, Clin­ton, Kai­tan­gata, Lawrence, Owaka and Ta­panui as part of the ‘‘UFB2+’’ ex­ten­sion.

In Au­gust, Cho­rus an­nounced it would be ex­tend­ing its UFB pro- gramme to about 60,000 more cus­tomers be­yond the ap­prox­i­mately 1.3 mil­lion cus­tomers in Cho­rus’ ex­ist­ing planned UFB1 and UFB2 roll­out ar­eas to im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity.

Cho­rus was the main player in this ini­tia­tive, net­work and field man­age­ment gen­eral man­ager Ed Beat­tie said.

‘‘At this stage we are still work­ing on the ex­act build sched­ule so have yet to con­firm tim­ings for UFB2+ but we will be back in touch with the com­mu­nity to share these as soon we have them set.’’

Cho­rus is in the process of build­ing the fi­bre net­work to more than 1.3 mil­lion homes, busi­nesses, schools and med­i­cal cen­tres right across New Zealand.

The lat­est fig­ures show that the first stage of the UFB build is 70 per cent com­plete, with about 780,000 premises now able to con­nect to fi­bre, with a Cho­rus up­take of 39 per cent na­tion­ally.

‘‘The fi­bre net­work be­ing built pro­vides more re­li­able and faster broad­band than ever be­fore, with speeds of up to 1Gbps (1Gig) cur­rently avail­able on our net­work, but there is still more to come,’’ Beat­tie said.

‘‘Right now at Cho­rus we’re hard at work plan­ning the next up­grade to the fi­bre net­work – a whop­ping 10Gbps con­nec­tion. All of this, of course, opens a world of op­por­tu­nity to trans­form New Zealand’s econ­omy, our com- mu­ni­ties, and the way we con­nect to the rest of the world.’’

On av­er­age, New Zealand house­holds were each con­sum­ing about 162Gb of data per month, a huge in­crease on the 13Gb used back in 2011, he said.

New ‘‘data-hun­gry’’ de­vices and ap­pli­ca­tions, such as 4K TVs and vir­tual re­al­ity would only con­tinue to fuel the de­mand for band­width, with av­er­age monthly data us­age fore­casted to reach 680Gb per house­hold by 2020.

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