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Excess Cables Removed By Telecom

Wellington’s skyline will be less cluttered after Telecom spends approximately $1 million to remove 170 kilometres of excess overhead cabling.

Simon Moutter, Group General Manager Network, said the unused, thick coaxial cables in Khandallah, Wadestown, Thorndon, Karori, Hataitai and Pinehaven are being removed in accordance with Telecom’s policy. (see Note for Editors over the page)

“While we’re under no obligation to take them down, we’ve listened to the concerns of local residents and have decided to remove them as currently, we have no use for them. The removal work will take place over the next 12 months.

“The cables were put up in 1996 as part of a HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial) cable network when Telecom was first exploring how to provide broadband services to residential and small business customers.

“At that time, HFC was considered the best, most cost-effective technology to use, based on what was happening overseas. Today, however, Telecom firmly believes ADSL is the best technology to use.

“ADSL allows big volumes of data to be transported at high speed across the existing underground copper telephone cable network. ADSL is the technology behind Telecom’s fast Internet access service, JetStream.”

Mr Moutter says while most of the HFC network was laid underground, overhead cables were erected in some Wellington and Hutt Valley suburbs.

“Only the overhead coaxial cables are being removed, along with the single, above-ground optical network units and amplifiers. A small amount of overhead fibre-optic cable installed for the HFC network will be retained for use in our core communications network.

“All of Auckland’s HFC cables were laid underground. However, the above ground optical network units and amplifiers in Auckland will also be removed as part of the initiative.”

The first of the broadband services to use the HFC network – First Media – was a subscriber television entertainment and information service.

First Media stopped broadcasting in July 1998, however, when Telecom decided to halt roll out of the HFC network as by that stage, it had became clear that other technologies, such as ADSL, were a cheaper, more effective way of delivering broadband services.

Tenders for the removal work will be called within the next month.

Note for Editors: Telecom’s policy on overhead cables

The vast majority of Telecom’s cables are underground.

Telecom participates actively with power utilities, local authorities and roading bodies in joint projects to put remaining overhead cables underground.

Instances where Telecom installs new overhead cable are rare, and generally only where there is no practical alternative.


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