Broadband connection delays likely for farmers

SHARE

Many dairy farmers disconnecting from broadband on Gypsy Day should again expect to be put on a waiting list to reconnect, as proposed changes to Chorus’s infrastructure will not be completed until June 2016.

Last season, delays of several weeks were experienced by rural internet users as people were advised in layman’s terms that “switchboards at the end of the road were full” or that “there were no connections left”.

Elissa Downey, media relations manager for Chorus, said upgrades to New Zealand’s mobile service are being carried out as part of a government iniative. She said the Rural Broadband Iniative was a wireless network to be used in rural areas where it was not practical to roll out new fibre cable.

Fibre replaces the existing copper network which can no longer keep up with the demands or volume of today’s telecommunications, and this is why some people in heavily populated dairying areas in North Otago have been unable to reconnect to broadband quickly.

Ms Downey said Vodaphone won the contract to build the infrastructure from the cell towers (for the mobile service) and were known as the wholesaler. To get the internet, users will still have to decide which retailer, like Telecom, they want to purchase their internet from.

She said Chorus recommended that individuals moving farms around Gypsy Day contacted their service provider and discussed whether a change of account ownership was possible with the house or farm they are moving to. Ms Downey said a change of ownership was different to a service disconnection and may prevent movers from going on a waiting list.

Julie Wagener, media communications manager for Telecom, said a change of ownership on an account would require the two customers involved to agree and give approval. Customers would need to call Telecom to make the change.

By LINDA MCCARTHY