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Waikato Wired For Broadband Access

Waikato Wired For Broadband Access

Eighty five percent of Waikato business and residential customers now have access to Telecom broadband fast Internet.

District Sales Manager Gus Prinsloo said 21 Waikato exchanges had now been upgraded to provide JetStream broadband access and an additional three exchanges – Brymer, Tirau and Mangakino – were scheduled for upgrades by the end of July.

Uptake of the service by Waikato businesses had been particularly strong, with 60 percent of Telecom’s larger corporate customers and almost 50 percent of medium-sized customers in the Waikato using broadband services such as JetStream.

“Telecom’s ongoing investment in the Waikato reflects our commitment to the region. Our Waikato network now features 15,000 kilometres of fibre-optic and copper cabling and 66 mobile cell sites provide coverage for 97 per cent of the region’s population.”

Mr Prinsloo said by the end of the year Telecom hopes that 90 per cent of all its Waikato customers would have broadband access. Between 1998 and 2002 Telecom had invested hundreds of millions in upgrading and maintaining its Waikato network.

JetStream has download speeds up to 50 times faster than a standard dial-up connection (except JetStream Starter)so surfing web pages for research or downloading software and large files can be much more efficient. People do not need to dial up each time they want to check their emails, and can talk on the phone or send a fax at the same time as they are logged on to the Internet, using only one phone line – so there is no more missing calls while online.

“As well as being faster, JetStream can also be more economical for businesses because they pay for usage, not the time spent online, and with just one JetStream connection multiple users can access the Internet simultaneously,” Mr Prinsloo said.

Broadband also opens up other opportunities, including creating virtual classrooms for students from different schools or potentially, for health professionals, telemedicine. Virtual ward rounds, which are being trialled around New Zealand, can link doctors, nurses, therapists and other health professionals through state-of-the-art videoconference equipment. Through a television screen, medical teams will be able to see and talk to each other despite being hundreds of kilometres apart.

Hamilton was the first Waikato exchange upgraded to provide fast Internet services, in February 1999. Since then the Hamilton East, Claudelands, Frankton, Te Rapa, Morrinsville, Matamata, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Tokoroa, Otorohonga, Te Kuiti, Melville, Putaruru, Flagstaff, Te Aroha, Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Raglan, Piopio and Te Kauwhata exchanges have also been broadband enabled.

About 84.8 percent of New Zealanders now have access to JetStream broadband services.

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