The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) roll-out is happening in stages. The first stage covers 33 towns and cities, though some urban areas won’t have fibre until 2019. By the end of the second stage, 80% of New Zealanders will have fibre installed in their street and available to be installed in their home. For a guide to when your area will get fibre, see broadbandmap.nz.
While getting fibre installed in your home can be a long process, the results are worth it.
But before you sign up, you’ll need to decide what speed, data cap and price you want, then you need to figure out the installation. The last part takes the longest, especially if you live in a rental property, on a shared driveway, or in an apartment, but you’ll be guided through the process by the installer.
Once you’ve chosen your ISP and plan, then you need to get fibre installed to your home. The process differs depending on where you live.
For most people, getting fibre from the street to your door is simple and only involves you. However, the installation can be frustrating if you’re not prepared. Each part of the process can have delays and relies on other people (see our consent process graphic).
For the most part you’ll be dealing with an installer from a company such as Chorus. These companies install fibre all over the country and deal with the physical parts of the UFB network. Each region has different installation companies, also called “wholesale providers” or “Local Fibre Companies” (LFC); it’s similar to electricity, with lines providers being separate from power providers. Your ISP deals with the non-physical parts of your UFB connection. They are called “retail service providers” (RSP).
Use Consumer Broadband Compare to choose a fibre plan (and ISP) to suit you.
After choosing an ISP, contact it like you would any other service. The ISP will contact the LFC that will be doing the installation. The ISP is always your first point of contact for any matters, including technical support, but during the installation the LFC will be talking to you directly.
Most owner-occupiers in self-contained homes won’t need consent. If you live in a right of way or apartment building, or your business shares premises, you will need to get consent from your neighbours, landlord or body corporate before fibre can be installed. This is a requirement of current property law.
Consent has to be obtained from everyone in the shared situation – for example, everyone on a shared driveway or everyone in your apartment building. If you’re renting, you need the consent of your landlord.
This is done via mail, so can take some time. To speed up the process, we recommend you talk to all involved parties first. Consent is required so the fibre installer can put the fibre in and also have future access for maintenance or repairs, or to connect other users.
Remember, the installation process can’t start until all consent documents are in.
After all required consents are obtained, the installer will make an appointment with you to discuss how it’ll install the fibre in your home. In most cases, fibre will be delivered to your house in the same way as your current internet is – for example, via an underground pipe or aerial cable.
If you’re in a shared situation, the LFC will make the fibre available to everyone, but it will only be installed in your home.
When the LFC comes to your home for the first meeting, you’ll discuss and decide where the optical network terminator (ONT) will be inside your home and where the external termination point (ETP) will be outside your home. The ONT and ETP are the boxes the fibre goes into from the road.
The position of the ONT is important. Most people place them in behind their TV as this is the point with the most data traffic. It also has flashing lights, so keep it out of your bedroom.
Once everything for installation is agreed, you sign off the plan with the installer. Thoroughly read the plan and the installation contract. The installer will repair any damage it does but has limits on liability coverage.
For most residential properties, there won’t be any charges to install fibre but in some situations there can be some costs to look out for:
• Requesting another install option from the road to the property. For example, if you remove an existing aerial cable and replace it with an underground cable.
• Electrical work to add additional power plugs that might be required for the installation. For example, if you want your ONT placed behind the TV and don’t have a socket there.
• Moving the ONT after it’s been installed, if you change your mind.
• Getting additional hardwiring done inside the home to get “fibre sockets” in your home (which are connected to the ONT). For example, gamers might want their own fibre socket.
The next step is getting the fibre from the road to your home. This part you don’t need to be home for. The installer follows the plan you agreed to and connects the fibre to your home’s ETP.
Then, at a separate time, a technician comes to your property and completes the internal wiring and installation of the ONT. You’ll have to be there for this part and it can take a long time; potentially up to 4 hours.