Adams pushes Telework Week to raise UFB awareness

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The Great New Zealand Public, which has so far shown little enthusiasm for fibre laid under the $1.35 billion Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) rollout, is about to get a nudge.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has announced the inaugural Telework Week, which will run from 12-16 November.

“The aim is for businesses to learn more about telework and consider how it might benefit them and their employees. It is timely for businesses to think about telework and the options an ultra-fast broadband workplace provides,” Ms Adams says.

The initiative is led by Cisco, in partnership with Crown Fibre Holdings, Vodafone, Datacom and NZICT, is being held in conjunction with Telework Week in Australia.

It will result in a week of government-sanctioned loafing, of a new era of employee flexibility and less clogged roads, depending on your point of view.

Earlier, Orcon CEO Scott Bartlett called on the government to run a campaign to raise UFB awareness. His wish seems to have been answered, at least on a modest level.

Put the broader problem remains limited availability.

Last month Chorus, which is handling the lion's share of the rollout, said UFB fibre now passed 42,000 homes, with another 5000 in progress - but only 200 premises had been hooked up.

Chorus boss Mark Ratcliffe told NBR the slow uptake was no surprise. It was early days in the project, and the three largest ISPs, Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear had yet to launch any fibre plans (Telecom recently told NBR it would not do so until the New Year).

In turn, ISPs are looking for clarity on whether Chorus' free connection offer will last beyond the end of this year. They fear householders, already showing little interest in the UFB, will be turned off altogether if they have to pay $1000+ up front to get fibre connected from the kerb to their home.

Mr Ratcliffe said his company was still in discussions with Crown Fibre Holdings on that point.


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9 Comments & Questions

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Pay $1000+ up front to get fibre connected from the kerb to my home?
Get off the grass!

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I've decided my existing connection is more than adequate for my needs.

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I am a CEO of a small consulting firm and I work from home one day a week to get away from all of the distractions (electronic and otherwise) of being in the office. I have to make my own lunch and coffee if I don't want to have to drive 10k into town to town for the same catering services my EA provides me. There may be cost savings for the firm (my EA only works 4 days) but there are personal costs for me as well! I'm lucky because I can afford a large country house with an office to work in - if we all telework, we will all need bigger houses in order to avoid having to share the dining table with the family . So everyone else will move to the country for more space/bigger houses at lower prices, travel further to work on the days they do go to the office, increase daytime congestion and the effect is not anything like the savings anticipated in the unrealistic projections.

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Based on the analysis provided I do not believe you are a CEO of anything.

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Don't just limit yourself to working at home. Go out and work from another country! I help run the telecommuting subreddit on Reddit and I try to share amazing places around the world where you can be sure to find good quality internet but get to explore a new place. Living in another country with a western salary can be an eye opening experience.

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Some one tell me what work function I can't do today from my home offcie with 8Mbit/s ADSL2+ that I wil be able to do with UFB please?

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There'll be a few high need applications, perhaps involved in movie-making etc, but the majority of us, indeed more than 99% of us, won't gain any benefit from this at all but still have to foot the bill thru higher taxes. BTW I don't regard teenagers downloading music and movies as a need.

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Real-time HD video meetings... Have you ever used high-def video conferencing? It's almost as good as meeting someone face to face, and is a very effective way to reduce travel, as you don't have to physically be in the same place to have an effective meeting. I've experienced it a few times where I met someone over HD VC first and once I met them in-person it did almost feel like I've met them face-to-face before. I’ve got decent broadband at home but can’t stream HD content in real-time, so would need UFB to be able use HD VC I reckon.

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The picture that accompanies this article is a very poor illustration of how teleworkers should work. Teleworkers need a properly equipped office-like situation to be productive. This woman could be out of the office tomorrow as well to visit her physiotherapist.

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