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Chorus fibre install complaints in perspective

Chorus Van

New Zealand’s media was quick to report stories about Chorus fibre install complaints this week.

Stuff went first on Monday with Problems linger with Chorus ultra-fast broadband rollout.

Not to be outdone, Tuesday’s The New Zealand Herald reported:

Fibre-optic cables for ultra-fast broadband have been installed across fences and through gardens in some Auckland homes – leaving residents concerned.

Internet users raised the issue with the Herald after discovering the cables scattered across their driveway, garden or taped to a fence.

The NZ Herald pictures came from Joe Thornley’s Howick home.

Thornley’s home snaps also showed up a day later at Radio New Zealand for Chorus responds to shoddy installation claims.

The Chorus fibre install complaints could leave you with the impression the UFB roll-out is one big botched job.

Sure there have been mishaps but the figures paint a different picture.

Radio New Zealand’s report quotes two numbers from Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe:

  • “Chorus was doing 600 jobs a day”.
  • …“getting 50 complaints a week about poor installations.”

Assuming Chorus works five days a week, that’s an error rate of around 1.5 percent or one in 60. A decent result for any large-scale public engineering project.

Given the spread out nature of New Zealand towns, physical and financial challenges compared to say, rolling out broadband in Singapore, and dealing with often difficult access it looks like success, not failure.

Disclosure: I wrote this story about Chorus fibre install complaints two years ago. Since then I have been editing The Download. It’s a Chorus-owned magazine that covers the telecommunications sector and how people use communications technologies.   

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