UFB hits Christchurch
The first fibre laid in Christchurch under the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) fibre rollout went live today.
Council-owned Enable, which holds the UFB contract for the city, says 5000 homes in Halswell can now sign up for fibre plans.
Following the Halswell launch, Enable will be making services available to more parts of the city – beginning with Bishopdale and Papanui over the next three months.
Orcon, Snap and Slingshot are offering retail plans.
Slingshot (a division of CallPlus) will reveal its residential plans on Monday.
Orcon and Snap have already launched UFB plans from $75 a month.
CallPlus boss Mark Callander told NBR his company would announce plans Monday.
Vodafone NZ boss Russell Stanners recently told NBR the UFB install process was no where near ready for prime time. His company, and wholesalers like Chorus and Enable had a lot of work to do.
Snap commercial manager James Koers disagrees.
"We’ve seen the install experience dramatically even during the 50 or so trial sites, and expect this to continue as we place more orders over the next few weeks. The reality is that this is new for all the fibre providers and their contactors, and they’re learning as they go, so he’s correct in that the installs aren’t being done as quickly as they ultimately will be, but I don’t see why that should hold us back.
"Maybe that’s a just a convenient smoke screen to hide behind because you don’t have your products or network ready," Mr Koers told NBR.
"Snap have been working with closely with Enable during the trial phase and have nearly 50 customers receiving UFB services," Mr Koers says.
"Feedback received from customers has ben exceptionally positive regarding the speed & reliability of the service, this includes using SIP services. The trial customer at the launch event was actually getting full speed (30/10) both ways to Sydney – pretty awesome considering we have more business customers than residential and midday is among the busiest time of the day.
"We are now receiving and placing live service orders on Enable and will be quite active locally, with marketing and promotional activity already underway."
Enable CEO Steve Fuller, struck a similar note, telling NBR ““We’ve been getting very positive feedback from the 50 trial participants connected to our service in Halswell. We’re also hearing through retail service providers and directly from Halswell residents that there is very strong interest in moving to fibre broadband.”
“Customer experience is of paramount importance to Enable – including at the time of install. Residential fibre installations are new to all of us and we are improving all the time. We have now completed 50 trial connections in Halswell and feedback has been positive.
“It was important to us that the end user connection experience was of a high standard, before we were happy to launch.”
To coincide with the launch announcement, Mr Fuller introduced Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Amy Adams and Deputy Christchurch Mayor, Ngaire Button to a Halswell home owner who has been trialling Enable’s residential fibre broadband.
IT system support specialist, Bryan Adams has been using Enable’s 30Mbps download and 10Mbps upload fibre broadband service for over a month as part of Snap’s trial programme.
“I’ve been very impressed with the performance of my trial service and I am definitely moving to fibre broadband permanently,” said Mr Adams.
“The speed improvements and consistent performance I’m enjoying from fibre broadband are the two things I’ve noticed the most. It’s much better than my previous broadband.”