In an unanticipated move by owners of the fibre network in the Western Bay region, the cost of internet services to residential addresses in Tauranga is set to decrease. What’s more retail service providers will finally be able to deliver customers with speeds it promised when Ultrafast Fibre launched Tauranga’s gigabit internet offering in June 2014.
Rotorua and Whakatane will lag behind Tauranga yet again while the fibre network owner serving those cities considers when to make a similar offer.
When gigabit internet was announced in Tauranga two years ago, homes and businesses in the city were able to access the ultrafast speeds but only at a cost which significantly exceeded the cost of existing services. As a consequence, uptake has been extremely slow according to Jesse Archer, Managing Director of Full Flavour, a local internet service provider delivering gigabit services. “While the ability to access the fastest technology in the country has been available to our city, the cost of doing so was far too high for most customers,” he says.
“What's more, there were artificial limits placed on upload speeds – reducing the real benefit to local businesses operating from home. Thanks to Ultrafast Fibre’s announcement home-based business people can now use internet services only previously available to corporates.”
According to research undertaken by Venture Centre for Tauranga City Council, 24.3% of small businesses (those under ten people) operate from home. According to council figures, this equates 3,060 local businesses who will now be able to compete with larger corporates and operate more efficiently with national and international customers.
Jo Allum, Co-founder of Venture Centre and a member of Tauranga City Council and Western Bay District Council’s Digital Enablement steering group said, “this is an exciting step forward for SME's in the Bay”.