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High speed broadband cabinets switched on

NEWS RELEASE: 18 November 2009

High speed broadband cabinets switched on in Napier

Chorus, Telecom's network access business, has begun switching on the first of 56 new roadside cabinets being deployed to enhance the broadband network in Napier.

The first eight cabinets are located in the Exeter Cresent, Holden Street, Barnard Avenue, Venables Avenue, Harold Holt Avenue, Bill Hercock Street and Pacific Avenue areas of Napier and will provide service to about 1120 customers located within the immediate vicinity.

Chorus is installing about 3,600 Whisper cabinets and 2,500kms of fibre optic cable around New Zealand to deliver high speed broadband to towns with 500 lines or more by 2012.

In all, Chorus plans to deploy about 44kms of fibre optic cable in Napier to connect the new roadside cabinets, building on the 157kms already in their local network. Work is now underway in the Marewa telephone exchange area and will continue around Napier through to the end of 2011.

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 continue to have their broadband service delivered from equipment based there.

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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 by Christchurch-based manufacturers.

"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

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