Rants, Raves, Reviews

Wellington City Council rolling out broadband - again

By Gary R, in , posted: 27-Feb-2007 08:28

Ummm, haven't we been here before? The council is proposing to spend between $15M to $45M rolling out 100km of fibre cable to give 'broadband' to all who live, work and play within the Wellington city boundary.

Well I am astounded. I hope that they are not spending my rates money. I would rather the council upgraded the gutters and drains on my street. I have asked them several times really nicely to do this. Laying fibre will obviously involve a certain amount of digging up the roads - yet again.

According to Mayor Prendergast the council is "having to step into the void because telecommunications companies had failed to roll out genuine high-speed broadband through the city."

Well Ms Prendergast when you talk about failure I assume you are also including yourself in this list. After all Wellington City Council were involved in CityLink which operates a fibre network around the Wellington and Auckland CBD. This is the same CityLink that was recently sold to TeamTalk.

Why are the council going here again? Why did they ditch CityLink? And why are they not simply extending the existing CityLink network? Rather than getting into the ultra competitive broadband market how about investing the money on decent trains and buses?

Here is another little nugget from Stuff

It seems that CityLink could do the job cheaper. The council did not bid for any money from the 'Government Broadband Challenge' coffers and local politicians seem to think that talking up broadband is an election winner.

[Edit] I forgot to add that from my house which is within the Wellington City Council boundary I have a choice of broadband. I can take my pick from:
Vodafone HSDPA
Telecom EVDO RevA/Rev0, DSL
NZ Wireless WiMAX
Woosh Wireless
Telstra Clear Cable
...And my neighbors hotspot!


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Comment by Bung, on 27-Feb-2007 09:24

The Council has been doing drains and gutters in my suburb. If they didn't coordinate at least some ducting at the same time, that would be a failure.

I guess fibre on the trolley bus overhead is easier to promise now that the negotiation with the bus company on the future of trolley buses has been settled.

Your history seems a little compressed. The Council hadn't been involved in Citylink for some years before the recent sale to Teamtalk.

Author's note by Jama, on 27-Feb-2007 09:34

Bung you are correct my history is compressed. But it doesn't change the fact that we have been here before. CityLink was built with the same promise of fast broadband for business and now the council is going here again.

Comment by Grant17, on 27-Feb-2007 10:24

Jama, with such a rich selection of broadband providers already at your disposal, I can understand why you would rather have the gutters and drains upgraded. In fact, I'm pretty sure there's one extra provider you forgot to mention:

Good old Telecom with ADSL over copper

At our house in Auckland though, the gutters and drains are perfectly fine but we have only 2 economic choices:

Telecom ADSL over copper
Wired Country wireless

And Wired Country doesn't give a sufficiently high data cap to cater for the needs of 3 avid gamers who manage to use up the entire 10GB allocation without fail every month.

If Auckland City offered to roll out fibre in our area, I would be the first to put my hand up and volunteer for some disruption while they dug the streets up.

But somehow, I doubt that it will ever happen because we have the albatross called "Eden Park Upgrade" to pay for, and the squabbling has already started. So much money for a one-off benefit whereas if they spent the same amount on fibre, we could be enjoying super-fast broadband for years to come.

I salute Wellington City's involvement in providing an essential 21st century service. If only more City Councils would follow their lead...

Author's note by Jama, on 27-Feb-2007 10:44

Hi Grant, I did mention Telecom DSL which is what I am actually using. Seems we in Welly have more choice than our northern cousins. You could have had a choice if the councils hadn't blocked TCL. I guess you don't have 50 year old trains and 23 year old buses...

Comment by Grant17, on 27-Feb-2007 11:07

Oh yeah, silly me I overlooked the mention of DSL in your list

As for the 23 year old buses, there would still be a few of those around, although most are probably 15 years old or less.

And as for the trains, well the very FEW of those that we actually have (which cover no more than 25% of the city) are pretty ancient, being recycled carriages from Queensland (if I remember correctly). I'm sure they would be at least 30 years old.

So, to sum up, I am quite certain that it is fair to say we have much poorer public transport services AND much poorer broadband in Auckland compared to what you have in Wellington. Lucky people

Author's note by Jama, on 27-Feb-2007 11:12

Grant - seems you might have issues from time to time with water and electricity as well.

We have lots of water, the odd electrical blip and occasional ruptured gas network!

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