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Greerton, Cambridge Hghts first for fast broadband

NEWS RELEASE: 04 November 2009


Greerton and Cambridge Heights first to benefit from fast broadband upgrade

Chorus, Telecom's network access business, has completed a third of the work to enhance the broadband network in Tauranga.

New roadside cabinets containing faster broadband equipment and fibre optic cable has been deployed in Greerton, Cambridge Heights, and the northern areas of Tauranga and Mt Maunganui. Chorus upgraded 54 roadside cabinets and laid approximately 30Km of new fibre optic cable, to extend fast broadband to 11,500 customers in these areas.

Chorus Fibre-to-the-Node Programme Manager Ed Beattie said each cabinet is the equivalent of a mini telephone exchange.

"The cabinets contain the electronic equipment needed to deliver broadband to homes via Chorus' local telecommunications access network.

"Previously, this equipment would have been housed in the local telephone exchange and the whole reason we're bringing it closer to people is because the closer you are to the equipment the faster your broadband speed is," he said.

Customers within 2km of a new cabinet should be able to connect at faster ADSL2+ broadband speeds subject to other factors including their broadband plan, modem, computer, and the wiring in their home or business. Customers near the local telephone exchange will have their broadband service delivered from equipment based there.

Work to connect the Bayfair and Te Maunga areas will be completed by July next year. In all, Chorus plans to finish upgrading 147 cabinets and deploying about 58kms of fibre optic cable in the Tauranga district by mid-2011, building on the 317kms of fibre already in the local network.

Chorus is installing about 3,600 Whisper cabinets and adding 2,500kms of fibre optic cable to Telecom's existing 23,500kms fibre network to deliver faster broadband to towns with 500 lines or more by the end of 2011.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses around New Zealand are already within reach of fast broadband access via either telephone exchange or cabinet-based ADSL2+ equipment. This represents about 50% of the approximately 1.8 million New Zealand homes and businesses connected by Chorus.

Mr Beattie said Chorus’ new cabinets are the result of some world-leading design breakthroughs right here in New Zealand.

"These cabinets contain sophisticated electronic equipment, so a lot of work has gone into making them much quieter and more power efficient than anything before them."

Whisper cabinet facts

• Each cabinet costs about $150,000 and will generally service up to 300 customers

• Cabinet body is made of 240kg of marine grade aluminium

• Cabinets are coated in a special paint to facilitate graffiti removal

• They contain battery back-up power supply as well as a generator connection in case of power-cuts

• At full load a cabinet uses 1200 watts, the same power as a one-bar heater

• They are designed to limit noise to about 30 decibels, just above the level of a whisper

• 650 key parts in each cabinet (1,150 including fastenings)

• 2 tonnes of concrete per cabinet base

The Telecom Group's fibre optic network can be viewed online at www.broadbandmap.govt.nz

Information on Telecom’s faster broadband project can be viewed online at: http://www.chorus.co.nz/enhancing-the-broadband-network


ENDS

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