Free audio stream, including stories that are padlocked on our site. Listen on any device, anywhere. Updated twice daily. The audio stream takes several seconds to start on Android devices.Launch Radio player
Most of us are still waiting for Crown fibre – and many aren't willing to pay for it when it arrives.
So far, by Orcon's count, there are only around 200 home users hooked up to the Ultrafast Broadband roll out, backed by $1.35 billion from taxpayers.
But one New Zealand resident did not wait around, spending north of $100,000 to get fibre laid up his country lane to his door.
Who? Kim Dotcom, of course.
On Wednesday, the giant German posted an Instagram pic of an Orcon car outside his $30 million rented mansion with the caption: "Having a great day. @Orcon just arrived. Reconnecting my 100mbit fibre."
"Reconnect" is the operative word here.
During his initial bail period, Dotcom was forbidden access to the internet.
But that still begs the question: how did he get fibre way out in Coatesville?
The UFB rollout so far doesn't reach the semi-rural Auckland suburb, and never will.
However, according to the government's National Broadband Map, a spur of Chorus fibre runs near Dotcom mansion – and a spokesman for the Telecom spin-off confirmed: "It’s our fibre network which we’ve extended for Orcon."
Orcon refused comment, citing customer privacy.
Dotcom Mansion falls within one of zones covered by the government-subsidised Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), a $300 million tender won last year by a joint bid from Chorus (handling) and Vodafone (cellullar).
But Kim's fibre predates project (which, in any case, is about connecting schools and fibre cabinets).
After he moved into Dotcom mansion in 2009 the alleged internet pirate had fibre laid to his door in a project managed by Gen-i.
Gen-i also declined to confirm if Dotcom was a client, or otherwise comment, citing customer privacy, but Dotcom confirmed to NBR ONLINE that the Telecom IT and telco services division handled the work.
Click to enlarge. The government's National Broadband Map shows a loop of Chorus fibre (in blue), with a standalone spur running off the main road, for a good kilometre, to Dotcom Mansion.
The fibre would have cost a pretty penny – at least outside the the Crown-sponsored UFB and RBI.
One reader told NBR he asked Vector for a quote to get fibre down his right-of-way in suburban Milford. He was told $20,000.
The government's National Broadband Map shows a loop of Chorus fibre (in blue) tracing the route of main roads.
A standalone spur of fibre runs off the main road, for a good kilometre, up a lane to Dotcom Mansion. That custom diversion would have cost a lot more than one right-of-way.
"I don't remember how much it was exactly to get the fibre laid – but it was six figures," Dotcom told NBR.
Doing the trick
Anyhow, the fibre seems to be doing the trick.
Dotcom posted a picture of a Speedtest.net result from an iPhone – presumably connected to his home network via wi-fi.
It showed a robust but not exceptional download speed of 19.32Mbit/s (most copper/DSL connections top out under 10Mbit/s, although some get into 15Mbit/s territory.
According to tests by members of Mac Rumours, much faster speeds can be obtained ay an iPhone 4S connected to wi-fi).
Upload speed is a more impressive 17.27Mbit/s (by comparison, most DSL connections are speed-limited to 1Mbit/s or under).
And the ping is a mere 11 milliseconds – twice as good as a tip-top DSL connection. Kim should appreciate the lag-free online gaming.
Beyond Call of Duty, how will Dotcom use his fibre?
Another pic in the alleged internet pirate's Instagram feed (right) is captioned "Creating the Cloud Storage future • NOW!" – a reference to his planned Megabox service.
Orcon (a division of state-owned Kordia) last week launched a promotion for free fibre until the end of the year.
In March, Kim Dotcom was granted access to a bank account and government bond interest for a living allowance of around $60,000 a month.
Orcon's top-speed fibre plan costs from $234 a month but is currently on special for $159.
"Fortunately, Orcon has given me a very good re-connection deal for a reasonable monthly fee," Dotcom said.
Even with a discount, a 100Mbit/s (that is, full speed) fibre account would be pricey by the standards of your average home broadband– but not in the context of the Dotcoms' phone bill.
According Crown Prosecutor Anne Toohey, the couple spend $5000 a month on landline phone costs.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 rises to a record, Genesis, PFI gain, Xero falls
- Dreaming A New City: Optimistic for Christchurch long term, pessimistic for short term
- TSB Bank writes off $53.9 mln Solid Energy debt; Fitch affirms A- rating
- Northland: secret poll puts Peters in dead-heat with National
- Car Torque: Mirai made by hand