Chorus has finished building its Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network in Timaru, meaning more than 14,000 households, businesses, schools and health facilities now have access to fibre.
The telco today joined Communications Minister Amy Adams and Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew for an event at Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, which is already benefiting from UFB, to celebrate the completion of the project in Timaru.
Timaru is the fifth town in New Zealand to have its fibre network completed under Chorus’ UFB programme.
“Timaru is an outstanding example of how a community can come together and make the most of an incredible technology like fibre,” says Ed Beattie, General Manager of Infrastructure, Chorus.
“Throughout Chorus’ Gigatown competition, there was strong community engagement in Timaru about the potential economic and social benefits of UFB which has really laid the foundation to ensure the community can unlock these benefits.”
For Beattie, the industry is now starting to see the results of this engagement, with Timaru having the second highest uptake rate in New Zealand among the areas where Chorus is rolling out UFB.
“Timaru businesses using fibre are experiencing seamless cloud computing, they’re sending large images and files, conducting meetings over smooth HD video conferencing and hosting multiple users and devices, all on the same Internet connection,” Beattie adds.
Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is one such business benefiting from UFB - the vertically-integrated business has operations in Tekapo, Twizel, Queenstown and Timaru, and staff scattered further afield at locations including Nelson and Auckland.
It opened a new processing plant in Timaru in November, 2013 which is now the data hub for the organisation.
Timaru-based Vetta Technologies installed UFB to manage Mt Cook Alpine Salmon’s network - providing high speed communications across the company, accessible across the company.
Mt Cook Alpine Salmon CEO David Cole says the company’s server stores everything from accounting and customer relationship management systems to the data off the line from the processing plant.
“The data collected is production information from raw material reception, through processing, packing, bar coding and final dispatch,” Cole adds.
“The system allows for live tracking of production speeds and quantities, meaning there is full traceability from the farm to the end user.
“Alongside faster access to our IT system, we have also implemented a voice over IP phone system, giving us complete control and flexibility over the digital communications, helping to deliver efficiency and cost savings across the business.
“UFB has also meant improved access to our Timaru server, with the frustration from dropouts for remote access now being a thing of the past.”
Communications Minister Adams reports that more than 15 percent of eligible users in Timaru have already signed up for UFB making it the fifth highest initial uptake in the country.
Also speaking at Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, Adams says better broadband was a core part of the Government’s plan to develop a productive and competitive economy.
“Timaru can now take advantage of the benefits UFB delivers, such as seamless cloud computing, online streaming of content, video conferencing and the ability to send large images and files,” Adams adds.
“Fast, reliable internet will help people living in Timaru connect with others, and businesses get products and services to the rest of the world.
“Together, the Government and Chorus have invested more than $23 million to deliver UFB to Timaru. This investment means more New Zealanders can connect to the high-speed network.”
Chorus is building about 70 percent of the UFB network in a public-private partnership with the Government.
At present, Chorus has 24 areas around New Zealand where it is deploying the UFB network and all up, the telco’s UFB network will run past more than 830,000 homes, businesses, schools and health facilities throughout the country by the end of 2019.
Currently, 46 percent of nationwide UFB build is complete with 618,000 end users now able to connect to the UFB network.