1.0 Ultrafast Fibre and Ultrafast Broadband (UFB)
1.1 Who is Ultrafast Fibre? I’ve seen your vans around town.
With the help of several partners, the New Zealand government is undertaking an initiative to provide ultrafast broadband (UFB) using fibre optic technology to provide voice and broadband internet services to 75% of New Zealand homes, business, schools and healthcare facilities by 2021. We are Ultrafast Fibre Limited, and we are the government’s local partner working to build the UFB network in Hamilton, Tauranga, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Whanganui. Building the UFB network will involve either laying fibre optic cables underground or, in some cases, running the cables across existing power poles, and then connecting fibre cables from the street into individual premises. We sell access to our UFB network to broadband providers, who then on-sell UFB services to members of the public or businesses (i.e. home owners, tenants, building owners, hospitals, schools, etc.). We do not sell services directly to members of the public or businesses, but we work together with the retail sector (i.e. broadband providers) to supply UFB services on our network.
1.2 What regions do Ultrafast Fibre service?
We service the urban areas of Hamilton, Tauranga, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Whanganui. We are building to approximately 163,000 premises. You can see full maps of our coverage areas on our website: ultrafastfibre.co.nz/what-were-up-to/coverage-areas
2.0 Work being done in the community
2.1 How will I know when you are going to build in my street?
We will put a flyer in your mailbox a couple of weeks before we start building down your street. The flyer will contain information relating to when work will start in your street and other information you may need to know.
2.2 When will Ultrafast Fibre complete its ultrafast broadband (UFB) network in the streets?
Our UFB network civil build (i.e. the work required to install the UFB network along a street) will be completed by the end of 2016, with some regions being finished sooner. For example, Te Awamutu is completed in June 2014.
2.3 Why is the ultrafast broadband (UFB) network build sporadic?
We have and regularly work closely with the Government body (Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH)) to design a network build-plan that ensured priority users (schools, businesses and healthcare facilities) were built to first, where logically possible. Business districts in our regions are mostly complete, as are the majority of schools and healthcare premises. We are currently focussing on building to residential addresses.
3.0 Getting ultrafast broadband
3.1 Can I get ultrafast broadband (UFB) at my house?
As of January 2014 over 50% of our UFB network was built and we build past approx. 5,000 new addresses each month. To find out if you can get UFB you can check your address on our website (www.ultrafastfibre.co.nz/getting-connected/address-finder) or ask your broadband provider.
3.2 Where do I get ultrafast broadband (UFB) from?
You need to sign up to a UFB plan/package via a broadband provider. We do not sell broadband (or phone) services directly to the public (or businesses). A list of all broadband providers who are selling UFB in your area can be found here: www.ultrafastfibre.co.nz/get-ultrafast
3.3 My neighbour had ultrafast broadband (UFB) installed. Why can’t I get it at my house?
This could be for a couple of reasons:
1. Your property is connected to a different UFB cabinet on your street and that cabinet is not yet ready.
2. Your broadband provider may not be selling UFB plans yet, and if they are not they may inform you that you cannot get UFB at your house (although that does not mean that you cannot go and buy a UFB service from a different broadband provider). You can go to our website to confirm whether or not UFB is available in your area and which broadband providers you can purchase a UFB service from.
3.4 My address is not covered within the Ultrafast Fibre coverage area, what options do I have?
If you are outside of our areas it is likely that you will be able to get fast broadband on another network as most properties in New Zealand will be covered by the Government’s UFB and RBI (rural broadband) initiatives by 2020. Talk to your broadband provider about your options.
3.5 A broadband provider told me that I can’t get ultrafast broadband (UFB) but I have seen you building in my street
Your broadband provider may not be selling any UFB services yet, although that does not mean that you cannot go and buy a UFB service from a different broadband provider, or that your current broadband provider will not be selling UFB services in future. You can go to our website to confirm whether or not UFB is available in your area and which broadband providers you can purchase a UFB service from. The general rule is if you have seen our crews building the network in your street you can get a UFB service once the network has been tested (which is usually completed three months after the work in your street has been carried out).
3.6 I am currently on a broadband internet (and phone) plan with a provider and I want to switch to ultrafast broadband (UFB) but I was told that my current provider is not selling UFB services at this time. When will my current provider launch UFB services and should I wait or should I look for other providers?
Your broadband internet provider should be able to inform you if (and when) they are planning to start selling UFB services in your area. It is definitely worth asking them for updates every now and then. In the meantime, it is your choice if you want to look for another provider.
4.0 The installation
4.1 I’ve got questions about the ultrafast broadband (UFB) installation process. Who should I ask?
Your first point of contact all times will be your broadband provider. Our crews will be carrying out the UFB installation at your property and they will contact you to discuss that installation process (and any questions you have) after you place an order for a UFB service with your broadband provider.
4.2 What is involved in an ultrafast broadband (UFB) installation? How long is it going to take? Do I need to be there?
There are three basic steps to the actual physical installation process: (1) the Scoping Visit, (2) the Exterior Visit, and (3) the Installation Visit. You need to be home for the Scoping and Installation Visits so that our technician can discuss the process with you and agree the best location to fit the fibre equipment. The length of time and the installation process required will differ for each property. You can read more about the steps here: http://www.ultrafastfibre.co.nz/getting-connected/installation
4.3 What forms do I need to sign to receive an ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
In addition to the contract you sign with your broadband internet provider, you will need to sign certain forms for approving the work to be performed at your property. Part of those forms is a contract between you and Ultrafast Fibre Limited (the owner of the UFB network you are connected to). That contract is known as the End User Terms and contains the obligations we have to each other in relation to your UFB service and the equipment located on your property. You need to read those terms carefully so that you understand them. The End User Terms are the same terms for everyone who connects to a UFB service and if you do not want to sign the End User Terms we cannot carry out your UFB installation.
4.4 I have overhead power feeding my house, does this mean that my ultrafast broadband (UFB) service will be connected the same way.
In most cases, yes, although there may be some exceptions. Our installers will discuss the options available to you.
4.5 I want ultrafast broadband (UFB) connected but I don’t want any damage to my flower gardens, lawns or driveway. What is your policy as far as reinstatement goes?
Our installers will do the best they can to cause minimal disruption to your property; however in some cases access through a garden, lawn or driveway will be required. Our installer will discuss your options before starting any work. After our installer has completed the work they will use their best efforts to reinstate the areas of your property where the work was carried out to the condition it was in when they arrived. There may be some instances where we cannot get an exact match e.g. imported tiles, but they will do the best they can. If you have areas that you think might be hard to match please let your broadband provider know when you order your ultrafast broadband service.
5.0 Apartment Buildings, Units, Right of Ways, Shared Properties, Tenanted Properties
5.1 I live in a block of flats or apartment. Will I get my own ultrafast broadband (UFB) connection?
Yes, as long as the owner of the building (or the person in charge of managing the building, such as a real estate agent property manager, owners association or body corporate) has agreed to the installation of our UFB cables and equipment. After we receive the consent of the building owner (or authorised person) our installation crew will arrange to connect your building to our UFB network and install the necessary UFB cables and equipment all the way to the your individual dwelling (unit).
5.2 I would like to connect to ultrafast broadband (UFB) but I live down a right of way (ROW); how much will this cost me?
We do not charge you a connection fee to install a residential UFB service from the boundary of your property to the optical network terminal (ONT) which is attached inside your property - even if that property is located along (or can only be accessed via) a right of way (ROW). However, please note that some broadband providers may charge you an installation fee when you sign up or order a UFB service, and we recommend that you ask your broadband provider what (if any) connection charges they will charge you for your new UFB service. If you do live down a ROW we may need your help to obtain the written consent from your neighbours (i.e. the owners of the other properties located on the same ROW), because they have certain rights in relation to the land that the ROW is on and they need to know what work is being carried out. We cannot start doing any work on the ROW until we have all of those consents.
5.3 I live down a Right of Way (ROW) and one of my neighbours won’t sign the ROW consent form. What can I do?
Unfortunately there is not much that we can do to convince your neighbours to sign the ROW consent form. Every property owner in New Zealand has a clear set of rights that are attached to their land, and we do not have the power to ignore or infringe those rights. We will work with you and our contractors to provide as much information as possible to everyone involved, but if your neighbour does not want to give consent we do not have any rights (under law) to proceed with the work.
5.4 What consent is required if my property is on a cross-lease and I want to order an ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
Before commencing any UFB installation work for a property built on a cross-leased property we must obtain the written consent from all of the property owners who share that cross leased section. We will provide you with a consent form for the other owner(s) to sign. The consent will only need to be signed once. So, if any other owner on that cross lease wants to order a UFB service in the future we will not need to come back and ask for your consent (or the consent of any other owners on that cross lease).
5.5 I am a tenant. What consent is required if I want to order ultrafast broadband (UFB)?
If you are a tenant in a residential property (i.e. a house), you will need to obtain the written consent of your landlord (or property manager) and confirm to us that you have that consent. You do not need to provide us with a copy of the consent, unless we ask for it. If you are a tenant in a multi-unit complex (i.e. an apartment, a block of units or a commercial building), we need the written consent of the owner of the building (or the person in charge of managing the building, such as a real estate agent property manager, owners association or body corporate) before we can install (and, as required, access) our equipment in that building.
6.0 New Builds
6.1 I am building a new house and want to get ultrafast broadband (UFB) laid and installed as part of the build, how do I go about this?
If you are building a new home or renovating, in most cases you will have an open trench for power and telecommunications services. While your trench is open it is worth future proofing for access to our UFB network. All you need to do is lay a white 20mm plastic duct in the trench and leave a marker at the end, or leave the end of duct exposed. This allows easy access for our installers to connect your duct to the main UFB cable in the street. Guidelines can be found here: www.ultrafastfibre.co.nz/getting-connected/building-or-renovating
If we have already reticulated our fibre underground in your street, we will have installed a duct to your boundary. It is advantageous if the duct you install has one end near to where we have installed our duct. We will be happy to assist you in identifying where we have installed our duct to your boundary.
7.1 What will it cost me to connect to an ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
We do not charge a connection fee for a residential UFB installation from the boundary of the property to the optical network terminal (ONT) which is attached inside your property. There is a nominal charge to your broadband Internet provider for business installations which (depending on the type of UFB service you have ordered) is equal to approx. one or two months of the wholesale charges we charge to your provider. This charge may or may not be passed on to you by your provider, but that is up to them to decide (not us). Some providers charge an installation fee for additional work or equipment and we recommend that you ask your provider what (if any) connection charges they will charge you for your new UFB service. Please note that Ultrafast Fibre Limited is not liable to you for any costs your provider charges you, or for any delay or other costs incurred by you as a result of your UFB service, unless stated otherwise in the End User Terms (which is the contract between you and Ultrafast Fibre Limited that you agree to when you approve the UFB installation at your property).
7.2 Do ultrafast broadband (UFB) monthly plan charges cost a lot more than I’m currently paying?
We do not control retail pricing for UFB services, and we do not sell services directly to members of the public or businesses. We only provide access to our network for (retail) broadband providers through our wholesale contract with them. However, we have noticed that fibre plans are generally priced similar to the current (copper) broadband internet plans, and currently start at around $65 per month including a phone line. Each retail broadband provider has its own pricing. We encourage you to get quotes from several providers in your area, so that you can get the best price and service package that suits your needs. A list of all broadband providers who are selling fibre in your area can be found here: www.ultrafastfibre.co.nz/get-ultrafast
7.3 While the ultrafast broadband (UFB) installers are at my house I want to install some secondary points, will they do this and what will it cost?
Yes, our installers may be able to carry out that work for you. Our installers are all sub-contractors, so they may agree to do the work for you and ask you to sign a contract for that work (and the price you will need to pay). Please note that the cost of any additional work carried out by our installers at your request is not covered by us (or the Government’s ultrafast broadband project) and that Ultrafast Fibre Limited is not liable to you for any work you ask our installers to carry out for you, and your contact with them will set out the terms for that work.
7.4 I have a working ultrafast broadband connection currently, but would like to move the ONT to a different location. Who do I contact and how much will it cost me?
You must call your broadband internet provider and tell them what you need. They will contact us and ask if we can carry out the work and things will go from there. We may charge your provider for that work, and you should ask your provider what costs they will charge you.
8.1 Will I have to rewire my home?
No. The UFB service can be used in a similar manner to a copper based service such as ADSL. If the ONT is not installed where your ADSL modem was installed, you may need to provide a cable between the two locations. Some broadband providers will include a wireless router when you sign up with that provider; and that router will give you the ability to access the UFB using wireless devices throughout your house. In saying that, however, exciting new services that are only possible over UFB will become available over time and some of these may require new wiring. The wiring required (Ethernet, Cat5 or Cat6) has been around for many years so your house may already be wired to provide the full ultrafast broadband experience.
8.2 Where should I put my optical network terminal (ONT)?
The ONT is the piece of equipment which is fixed to a wall inside your house. All houses and businesses are different, so when our installers come to your house or business to install the fibre connection they will discuss with you the best place for your ONT.
9.0 Existing services e.g. wifi, telephone, Sky TV, alarms
9.1 Can I still use Wi-Fi?
If you currently use Wi-Fi technology to connect your computer and other devices to access broadband, you will still be able to do this with ultrafast broadband.
9.2 Can I use the modem/router and other equipment I have now for my current broadband internet service, or do I need to replace it with special ultrafast broadband equipment?
If you currently have broadband internet, your modem and router are both located in the same piece of equipment. With ultrafast (fibre optic) broadband internet there will be two separate pieces of equipment. One is the optical network terminal (ONT), which is provided free-of-charge by us when we connect your home onto our network (i.e. we do not charge you, or your broadband internet provider, for the ONT). The second piece of equipment that you will need is a router, which is a small box you can place on your wall, desk or bench top. The router is provided by your broadband internet provider and the price is sometimes included when you sign up for the new service, or forms part of the sign up charges you pay to your broadband internet provider. Some broadband internet providers may recommend that you retain your existing wireless router or they will provide you with an additional device in order to deliver specific services that they provide or that you have asked for.
9.3 Will my existing telephone work with an ultrafast broadband service?
Most broadband internet providers have a solution that will allow your existing telephone to work. With the addition of a simple adaptor your existing phone should plug straight into the ONT or router that are installed inside your house. Your broadband internet provider may choose to offer you a new telephone system that is packaged with a wireless router. You will need to discuss your options with them.
9.4 Will my home alarm /medical alarm continue to work with an ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
Some modern monitored home alarm systems will continue to operate over UFB phone services, with some slight modifications that can be done by your alarm monitoring company. The monitoring component on older alarms may not work on the UFB network. Some ISPs do not support these devices and so are recommending that they are not connected to the UFB network. You must talk to your broadband provider about your requirements and what options you have if you require a monitored and/or a medical alarm.
9.5 Will my Sky TV still work with an ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
Your Sky TV viewing and reception will be unaffected by the installation of a UFB service in your home. Sky TV currently has a system that allows you to order movies or other pay-per-view services directly from your Sky set-top box. Some broadband internet providers will ensure that your existing Sky TV service will continue to work. We recommend that you talk to your broadband internet provider to discuss your requirements or if you have any questions. We note that new internet-based TV services designed specifically to run over the UFB network are expected to become available in New Zealand in the near future.
10.0 Retail broadband package
10.1 A broadband internet provider tried to convince me to choose VDSL over an ultrafast broadband (UFB) service. What is the difference?
VDSL is a technology that uses the existing copper network. It can match the lower end UFB speeds but it is not designed to match faster UFB speeds. VDSL is still affected by the same variables that affect current copper connections, such as the distance your property is from the exchange and the load on the network (i.e. the number of other properties using that network). Broadband internet providers who are unable to sell you a UFB service may try and convince you to switch to VDSL. We suggest talking to more than one provider and to research all your available options.
10.2 What ultrafast broadband (UFB) package should I choose?
We recommend that you discuss your needs and requirements and research all of the UFB package options with broadband internet providers to help you decide which package is best for you.
11.0 Already connected to the Ultrafast Fibre network
11.1 Who do I call if I have an issue with my ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
You must contact your broadband internet provider for any questions relating to your UFB service. If the issue is related to our network then your provider will contact us and we will work with them.
12.0 Ultrafast broadband performance
12.1 After I move to ultrafast broadband (UFB), are there other factors that could affect the speed and quality of the UFB service I receive?
Everyone should enjoy a much better broadband performance on the UFB network because it has much greater capacity for delivering high speed internet services to the home and UFB is not limited by distance. If you do not notice an improvement, you should contact your broadband internet provider. In saying that, there are a range of factors outside the UFB connection that can affect the performance of UFB at your place, and your broadband internet provider can help you identify these factors.
12.2 What can I do to maximise the performance of my ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
The age, capability and condition of your computer and other devices can affect the performance of UFB services and content delivered over the UFB network. Upgrading or replacing your computer or other devices may improve performance.
12.3 Do data caps limit the performance of ultrafast broadband (UFB) service?
It is likely that customers will use more data more quickly when connected to a UFB service because they can enjoy more advanced services and better quality content. To avoid the inconvenience of running out of data or being charged if you go over your data limit, discuss your data cap with your broadband internet provider when you sign up for broadband UFB service.
12.4 I signed up to a 30/10 ultrafast broadband (UFB) plan, but why is it that sometimes the actual speed is less than that?
Some broadband internet providers are advertising plan speeds of 30/10 or 100/50. The numbers often relate to the speeds of the wholesale UFB service that a provider purchases from us. A 30/10 UFB service equates to a download speed of 30 Mbps and an upload speed of 10 Mbps. Beyond the wholesale layer (the part that we control) there are other factors that can influence (reduce) the speeds, such as backhaul and international traffic speeds and what speed test you are using. If you continually receive speeds that you believe are insufficient you should contact your broadband internet provider to discuss your options.