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26 posts

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Topic # 138078 19-Dec-2013 10:39 Send private message

Hi guys,

OK, so the title of '"Abnormalities" in Chorus network...' is a bit vague, so let me see if I can explain what's going on. I live in rural NZ, in Golden Bay, at the northwest tip of the South Island. Lots of people in the area have been gagging to get broadband for years (and I do mean years... a lot of people struggle on with dial-up at the moment, which must be *so* frustrating!!). Over the last year, Chorus have been laying fibre optic cable between Takaka and Collingwood, and upgrading some of the roadside cabinets (i.e. TAK/V, TAK/B, TAK/AK, etc. -- see http://goo.gl/maps/D3BNk). I believe the fibre optic cable is now all in place and operational, as the Vodafone transmitter on Mt Burnett, near Collingwood has just been upgraded and is chucking out 3G (4G?) signal, whereas it was just 2G previously.

I've been speaking with a number of people in the area. Some live on Patons Rock Road, some live on "Puramahoi Straight" (that is, on SH60, between the Patons Rock Road turn off and Takaka Airport), and some live in Rangihaeata, on Rangihaeata, Keoghan and Fraser Roads. They have told me stories about how, in the past (i.e. years ago), they have been told that the quality of the old copper network was so poor that Telecom (as it was back then) couldn't even provide dial-up over the phone lines. One person was told that there was a "coil" on their line which prevented this. People on Patons Rock Road were told they couldn't be connected to the phone network, as there weren't enough connections available, and so on. 

As we will soon be able to reap the benefits of the RBI rollout, people are asking me now whether they will be able to get broadband.

Looking at the Chorus Broadband maps, there seem to be some interesting "holes" in availability of ADSL2+ services. Specifically, if you look up "Onahau Road, Puramahoi 7182", but then go back to SH60, you'll see that there is "good" ADSL availability towards Patons Rock Road, but then it abruptly stops. Similarly, if you search for "Keoghan Road, Rangihaeata 7182", there is "good" ADSL availability for the first third of the road, but then it appears to just stop.

If people live in these "holes" of coverage, are they sod out of luck? Are there any technical reasons--"coils" on the line, poor quality copper cables, etc.--that really do prevent ADSL being delivered to these places, or is this just apochraphyl? For some of these people, they have seen Chorus dig ditches in front of their houses, lay spanking new green pipework for the fibre optic cable, so they know it is right in front of them, and if they then cannot get broadband, sheesh, they'll be unhappy.

I was wondering whether any Geekzoner is able to check out some specifics for us...?

(Also, as an aside, I see that Chorus are now "advertising" (http://www.chorus.co.nz/rural-broadband-initiative/fibre-in-rural-community/fibre-to-rural-communities-1) that people may be able to connect to the RBI fibre -- does anyone know much about that? The applicable maps on the Chorus website show extremely few places where new ducting was laid in Takaka, despite new trenches being dug all the way between Takaka and Collingwood, and, for example, new "manholes"--that is, big cylindrical concrete pits--installed in the ground along the way, as at the end of Onekaka Iron Works Road...)

Thanks for your time, guys. Here's to hoping someone can shed some light on this.

Cheers,

   Jon


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  Reply # 954719 19-Dec-2013 11:28 Send private message

The example you give there where there is zero 'covergae' and the up the road there is a good 'coverage' is just simply based on local loop distances. One area is obviously reticulated back to a cabinet/exchange at one end and the other goes to a completely different cabinet/exchange at the other.
The area with zero coverage may well be feed from one of the new RBI cabinets but is just simply too far away to receive DSL (budget on 5km, some times up to 7-8km).

In terms of 'coils' I am guessing they are referring to loading coils. These are used to make the POTS line (standard phone line) go further. Loading coils are essentially a low pass filter and therefore will tune out any DSL frequency.
Most of the time loading coils can be removed from a pair to allow a customer to get a DSL signal but some times they could be buried and it becomes much more of a hassle to remove - sometimes Chorus will just simply refuse to remove them if the cost is too great.



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  Reply # 954746 19-Dec-2013 12:14 Send private message

Hi Chevrolux,

Thanks for your response.

OK, so I understand about the "coil" thing. If--in worse case scenario--the loading coil *is* buried somewhere, isn't it up to Chorus to fix this up? I mean, it's their network, wouldn't they have an obligation to provide a broadband capable line to a subscriber's premises? 

(Don't suppose there is a telco insider who could do a bit of poking around...?)

   Jon

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  Reply # 954773 19-Dec-2013 12:37 Send private message

Removing loading coils isn't exactly "fixing" the network. It is up to Chorus if they wanted to remove coils or not. Just like it is up to them if they want to upgrade a cabinet.

More often than not only part of the cable is loaded so it is simple to shift a customer off a loaded pair and on to one that isn't loaded letting them get the DSL signal.

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Chorus NZ

  Reply # 954777 19-Dec-2013 12:43 Send private message

As part of the design brief for the RBI cabinet programme, where it is viable to do so loading coils are removed from the local distribution network.  In many near-urban/not-so-rural sites this is common. 

Loading coils may remain in the E-Side cable (between the cabinet and the exchange), but this is irrelevant as the ISAM is on the other side of the MDF in the cabinet.

However in rural-rural sites there may still be a requirement to keep loading coils as the voice service is still being fed from a distant exchange (~20 kims away).  In this case the customer is too far away from the transmitting equipment to receive a viable broadband signal so again it is not an issue.

Short answer, don't worry about loading coils - if they can be removed without impacting service Chorus will do this - if they need to be there, the coils are not the reason why you can't get broadband, it will be the distance from the cabinet/exchange.



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  Reply # 954834 19-Dec-2013 14:04 Send private message

Many thanks for your reply, Chorusnz, much appreciated.

OK, so loading coils shouldn't be an issue, excellent. Talking specifics, say I lived between, 458 and 599 Takaka Collingwood Highway (SH60), being within maybe 500m of the (brand new) TAK/B cabinet at the top of Patons Rock Road, would I be able to get broadband? (The Chorus network coverage map shows no broadband coverage, while houses literally just 50m away are "in the zone"...) Hopefully that is just an aberration with the map...?

While I have you here, can I ask you about this: http://www.chorus.co.nz/rural-broadband-initiative/fibre-in-rural-community/fibre-to-rural-communities-1. There are very few places in Takaka that show up as having new ducting in place--you'd have to be on the doorstep of either of the two schools. Does that mean that there is no scope for tapping into the new fibre optic cable between Takaka and Collingwood at all? When the new cable was being installed at the end of Onekaka Iron Works Road, I saw a cylindrical concrete "manhole" being installed, through which the fibre optic cable passed. That looked like forward planning for the installation of... something at a later stage. Is it possible that the community in Onekaka would be able to tap into the fibre there?

Many thanks,

   Jon

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  Reply # 955851 21-Dec-2013 14:55 Send private message

The manhole is probably just a matter of installing fibre at a reasonable length so that theres a point where they can join it. If they wanted to use some fibre to go to a cabinet that distributes broadband out to houses they might do this as well. You don't just tap a fibre cable for one customer if its dedicated to supporting a lot more, but it sounds like they planned for this and allocated fibres for those cabinets.

It also sounds like you could ask for broadband and tell them how close you are to the cabinet so they can investigate whats wrong with the map.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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Chorus NZ

  Reply # 955944 21-Dec-2013 18:48 Send private message

Hi Jon,

I hope to be taking a trip around that area over Xmas. :)

The cabinets in the TAK region are set for upgrades between Feb - Apr 2014 as per http://www.chorus.co.nz/maps. But yes there are areas not covered by the RBI Upgrade.

I personally hope the Industry sponsored (which includes Chorus funding - over and above the current investment) extends past 2015 to cover more of the Rural/Semi-Rural Areas. A little more info is here: http://www.chorus.co.nz/rural-broadband-initiative.

The maps in the end are just a guide based on the estimates of the Cable runs. The best option for people that have not already done it, is to do a pre-qual with the Retail Service Provider and if service is currently unavailable to go on the Waiter List.

I think the Coils situation has been covered. But lastly, I believe the idea of the Rural Fibre was you need to be pretty close to a priority user.

Cheers
PJ.

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  Reply # 957930 27-Dec-2013 12:18 Send private message

I have 4.5 kms of copper line back to my rural exchange, which has just had broadband installed under the RBI. But I can't get broadband because of a loading coil. I can't be switched onto a line without a coil either.

Chorus is going to locate my coil in January and then make a decision about it.

I've talked to a couple of local line repairers from Chorus. One said they might remove it if I'm lucky, but he didn't sound optimistic. The other said "there's no way they'll remove it".

So yeah, loading coils can be a problem.

^__^
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  Reply # 957948 27-Dec-2013 13:32 One person supports this post Send private message

my parents place had a coil on it, spent a few years trying to get adsl.. installation would come, oh its not working.. back to dial up..

tried to give it another shot a few years later to find out the cause was a coil.

ended up with being able to leave the modem syncing away, wait for it to by chance get a 64/64kbit sync and we were away till it lost sync again!

were told it was very unlikely and costly to have it removed as just we were affected by it.


long story short, it was later (a month or so after the initial denial of having it removed) worked out, that actually it was beneficial to most customers on the road and unsurprisingly everyone saw a speed increase.


hopefully at some point, yours too, is removed..

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  Reply # 957969 27-Dec-2013 14:50 Send private message

From what Chorus has told me, the government is subsidising the cost of getting broadband out to the rural exchanges and cabinets, but as the loading coils are on the existing copper network, the cost of removing them falls onto Chorus.

If a coil is in one of those grey PVC pipe pillar things or up a pole, then it's a relatively cheap fix. But if the coil is buried, then it's often just not economically viable to remove them.

I don't understand why the cost of removing loading coils isn't included under the government RBI funding process. It must have cost a huge amount just to get broadband out into my rural exchange.

^__^
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  Reply # 957970 27-Dec-2013 14:55 Send private message

cant say i could begin to comment on the costs, however mine was burred, turned up that morning digging a large deep hole, by the afternoon i was shocked to see a 3mbit sync!

it was like the jump from dialup to adsl that was expected!


draw whatever conclusions there you like, personally, i question if the whole coils thing falls into the category of coknlins, where looking back, it wasnt a good idea.

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  Reply # 965062 11-Jan-2014 11:51 Send private message

Chorusnz: As part of the design brief for the RBI cabinet programme, where it is viable to do so loading coils are removed from the local distribution network...


From my own recent experience...

It's at the discretion of the Chorus supervisor of each rural exchange / cabinet as to whether loading coils are removed or not. Apparently there is no requirement for Chorus to investigate their removal.

In my case, the supervisor initially agreed to investigate the viability of removing my loading coil in January, but that decision has now been reversed. No reason was given, only that Chorus may look into it later in the year.

The Chorus network capability map has my property within a new RBI DSL coverage area, but in reality, the map means nothing.



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  Reply # 965085 11-Jan-2014 12:44 Send private message

NZJon: I mean, it's their network, wouldn't they have an obligation to provide a broadband capable line to a subscriber's premises? 


Actually, Chorus have no obligation to either provide a broadband capable line or even a telephone line to a house.

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  Reply # 967844 15-Jan-2014 22:09 Send private message

I'm on holiday in patons rock next week 

Can anyone comment on Telecom [or for that matter 2D or VFNZ] mobile broadband performance in Golden Bay esp Patons Rock ?

I was going to get a 21Mbps capable mobile hot spot but I have this feeling that in that region I maybe wasting my time and should just get a 7.2Mbps device since I'm doubtful whether speeds above 7.2Mbps are available

Can anyone comment on the performance ?

BTW the manager of the property we are renting said that xDSL has yet to arrive at Paton's rock

 






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  Reply # 967934 16-Jan-2014 08:54 Send private message

Hi xlinknz, Both the Telecom and Vodafone networks have been upgraded very recently, which is great. There is a new Vodafone transmitter on the hill above Pupu Valley Road, which should (I think) reach out to Paton's Rock. Telecom is now pumping out (at least 3G) from Mount Burnett (I don't know if it is 21Mpbs or not, though). I know people in Paton's Rock who use Telecom T Sticks, and also people who use Vodafone Vodems. That tells me that both networks work just fine out there. Hope that helps, Jon

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