Approximately 94% of residents and businesses in Otago have
access to broadband over their telephone line (DSL broadband).
Of those customers who can receive broadband over their
telephone line, 33% had taken up the service as at end June 2007.
Broadband is available today to all New Zealanders via a
combination of DSL (copper line), Xtra wireless and satellite
technologies. Approximately 93% of New Zealanders are covered by DSL
through their landline, 2% by wireless and the remaining 5% by satellite
Broadband - challenges of extending coverage
The main factor that limits the availability of broadband is
distance from the exchange, or roadside cabinet, from where the
broadband is supplied. This is the same for networks all over the world.
Telecom is continually upgrading and installing more broadband
equipment in its network. Our investment plans for Otago for the
2006-2007 financial year included $3.6 million for projects to boost
broadband services in urban and rural areas throughout the region. This
work included installing new fibre optic cabinets in the Karitane,
Warrington, Waihola, Enfield and Shag Point areas.
The few customers in Otago without broadband coverage are
generally either: served by an exchange or cabinet with broadband, but
beyond transmission range; served by an exchange or cabinet without
broadband; or served by a multi-access radio system or country set
(rural radio) which is incompatible with broadband technology.
Extending DSL coverage can be very costly and generally involves
installing broadband equipment (eg a DSLAM) into an exchange and
installing new cabinets and laying fibre optic cable to the cabinet.
The economics for this investment can be challenging and are
driven by various factors including: level of customer demand,
population growth, subdivision development, and technological upgrades
to improve quality of service. Other technologies such as wireless or
satellite may also be able to provide broadband service more
economically to certain areas.
Seacliff does not currently have DSL broadband coverage and
would require substantial investment to provide coverage for about 40
customers in the area. Telecom does not currently have plans to
undertake this work, but we're always happy to talk with community
groups about broadband coverage and have worked in partnership with
local groups to extend broadband coverage in some areas.
by Brett Jackson