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Wellington College first school to Hyperfibre

Wellington College upgrades to Hyperfibre,
For schools like Wellington College, a standard UFB fibre connection is not enough. Hyperfibre removes the congestion.
For schools like Wellington College, a standard UFB fibre connection is not enough. Hyperfibre removes the congestion.

Wellington College upgrades to Hyperfibre

Wellington College is the first school in New Zealand to connect using Chorus’ Hyperfibre. The school has shared a 2Gbps connection among its staff and 1,700 students since the end of May.

The project to connect Wellington College was a partnership between Network for Learning (N4L), Spark and Chorus.

Darrell Harvey, Wellington College’s deputy principal says the upgrade means the end of traffic congestion at peak times. He says: “it’s also given the school new options around future internet traffic usage.”

N4L CEO Larrie Moore says: “We are responsible for the broadband networks of New Zealand’s schools and kura. In conjunction with the Ministry of Education and our partners, we’re delighted to bring Hyperfibre to schools, ensuring that those networks are fit for purpose”.

Network for Learning says while other high usage schools are planning similar broadband upgrades, not all schools need more than a standard 1Gbps fibre connection. The Crown-owned communications company says it will work with Spark and the other Hyperfibre providers Enable and Tuatahi First Fibre to connect other schools in the coming months.

2Gbps is the fastest speed currently available to New Zealand schools.

Price rise for Spark fibre, copper connections

Spark told its fibre and copper broadband customer to expect price rises of between $3 and $5 for their connections. In a letter to customers the company said the price rises were a direct result of higher wholesale fees from Chorus, Enable, Northpower and Tuatahi First Fibre.

Customers using the company’s fixed wireless broadband services, which do not involve a wholesale arrangement, will not pay more.

Earlier this year the wholesale fibre companies announced they would be increasing their prices by up to 5.9 percent. This is in line with the rise in the consumer price index and is allowed by the Commerce Commission as part of its agreement with fibre companies.

Enable offers free WiFi in Christchurch city centre

Christchurch city centre has a new free WiFi service courtesy of Canterbury-based fibre company Enable and the city council. The network covers an area from the Bridge of Remembrance and along Oxford Terrace to Victoria Square, across to Colombo Street and back down Colombo Street to the Lichfield Street corner.

World will have over 100 million fixed wireless connections this year

Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report says there has been a recent rapid uptake of fixed wireless broadband. The report says there will be more than 100 million connections worldwide during 2022 and this will more than double in the next five year to reach 230 million connections in 2027.

The report says the move to 5G networks is fuelling the rapid rise of fixed wireless. One trend seen overseas, but yet to reach New Zealand, is fixed wireless operators moving away from volume-based charging towards speed-based plans. That is instead of paying for gigabytes of data each month, customers can buy connection speeds. In cases these now reach gigabit per second speeds.

Satellite performance against fixed broadband in Oceania.

Ookla claims Starlink is region’s fastest broadband provider

A questionable report from Ookla Speedtest suggests the low earth orbit satellite-based Starlink service offers the fastest broadband speeds in Australia and New Zealand.

It says the median speed New Zealanders can download from Starlink is 118.7 Mbps while the median clocked on fixed line broadband is 116.8 Mbps.

Comment: Ookla’s New Zealand report doesn’t add up

The Ookla Speedtest numbers don’t square with the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand report. Nor do they reflect the experience of New Zealand broadband users.

While Measuring Broadband doesn’t offer an aggregate median speed across all services, we know a little over half of all broadband connections in New Zealand are on fibre with download speeds of 300 or around 850 Mbps. Vodafone’s HFC Max customers have download speeds around 800 Mbps.

In statistics, the median is the middle number in the list of data points. Half the data points will be higher than the median and half will be lower.

Given more than half of all connections are on fibre with speeds of at least 300 Mbps or on HFC Max, that would put New Zealand’s median broadband connection at more than 300 Mbps.

Ookla’s measurements clock the speed from a device to a nearby server which means, in part, it measures the speed of domestic WiFi networks as well as the external connection speeds. Which means it’s possible the New Zealand figure shows that Starlink customers have better home networks.

In other news

Datacom Group reported flat results for the 2022 financial year. The company said revenues ticked up a fraction from $1.41 to $1.45 billion while the net after tax profit moved in the opposite direction from $35 million a year ago to $28 million this year.

The New Zealand branch of technology distribution giant Ingram Micro enjoyed a bumper year with revenues 10 percent higher in 2021 when compared with the prior year. Net profit leapt from $15.8 million to $22.1 million. Problems with global supply chains meant the company increased its inventory from $53.4 million to $82.9 million.

IDC research says the worldwide public cloud services market grew 29 percent in 2021. This includes IaaS, SaaS and PaaS. Revenues reached US$409 billion. The top five cloud service providers: Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Google and SAP accounted for 40 percent of the total revenue. Microsoft now has the largest share of public cloud business with 14.4 percent, AWS is in second place with 13.7 percent.

There was no newsletter last week because of the Matariki holiday in New Zealand.