Get wired for ultrafast broadband
Without the right home wiring the new ultrafast broadband network may still be out of reach, even in the areas where it is being installed.
Installation of ultrafast broadband (UFB) began in August last year, courtesy of the Chorus network. The exTelecom subsidiary is one of a number of utilities companies working under the government’s UFB initiative to cover about 75 per cent of the country’s urban areas by 2020.
However, to make use of UFB, homes and businesses must have wiring, hardware, computer networks and internet services that are up to the high-speed specifications, Chorus spokesman Robin Kelly says.
‘‘A customer’s broadband service is also affected by factors including their broadband plan, modem, computer, and the wiring in their home or business.’’
Mr Kelly says buildings will need to be fitted with Cat5e copper network cable, or a higher standard, and wiring needs to be laid out in a ‘‘star’’ layout from a central point to other rooms.
Most homes use the old copper wire telephone network to connect to the internet, which is fine for dial- up and broadband internet speeds, but does not have the capacity to carry UFB.
Cables that can carry UFB have been widely available for at least the past 10 years, Mr Kelly says, and most business premises have them in place. But unless a home has been built during that time, or renovations have included UFB cables, it is unlikely domestic users will have the right cables.
‘‘As part of our contract with the government we’ll run fibre-optic cables from the boundary of their property to the side of their house and into the ONT, optical network terminal, which we provide, which interfaces with the fibre and then the service provider’s modem.’’
Those planning new homes or renovating should look into installing high-speed internet cables in their houses, he says.
‘‘Right now, with broadband, you can stream high-definition TV and do basic videoconferencing, but what we are doing through fibre to homes is putting in fibreoptic cables so you can take that next step up, but it’s up to the homeowner what they put in place to use that.’’