Uptake for the new Ultra Fast Broadband service is going gangbusters, especially here in Tauranga where the most recent figures released showed we had the highest uptake in NZ.
With uptake showing no sign of slowing down, find out in this blog post about a new Full Flavour effort that is aiming to push fibre uptake and ensure great installation experiences.
Above: Simeon Ashton of Highmark Homes, receiving ducting materials to ready a new Bethlehem home for fibre broadband
You're probably aware that Full Flavour is a local Tauranga internet service provider (ISP) that is heavily involved in the Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative, a government program being rolled out nationally with the aim of proliferating high speed internet access for businesses, schools & residences.
Full Flavour has made Ultra Fast Broadband our core service and is capitalising on our position in the market as the only local provider that has built a brand new network to support the service.
We've noticed over the past 18 months that the skill level amongst the fibre install teams (ran by Transfield Services) has greatly improved and the majority of installs into existing Tauranga properties are smooth experiences for everyone involved.
One issue that has become evident is a lack of clarity in the new builds industry when it comes to best practice that ensures residencies are not only prepared for an “intelligent home” future, they're ready for fibre broadband which is now.
Here are three of the most common problem scenarios we keep facing week after week:
Scenario A - New home is built and broadband is ordered once the tools have long been packed up
The new homeowners move in and find that unlike power, which is automatically on, connecting broadband into the home hasn't been thought through well enough.
The new homeowners order broadband through their preferred ISP and two weeks later a technician arrives to hook everything up.
The technician explains they'll need to make a bit of a mess both inside & out as either no ducting is in place for fibre broadband cables or the ducting that has been installed doesn't meet requirements.
And by mess I mean both:
1. Non-permanent work which includes digging holes through new lawn or concrete in order to facilitate thrusting or drilling new conduit space underground
2. Permanent reminders of where cable has been run, in the form of ugly capping up and down the walls of the new home.
Needless to say the new owners aren't too happy about this especially as it could of been avoided by some smart thinking while trenches were open and jib board hadn't been nailed to it's frame.
Scenario B - Either no communications box installed or what has been installed doesn't meet requirements
When Transfield Services arrive on-site to hook fibre broadband up, they look for a communications box (also called a 'home distributor') that they can install their equipment into, as it's preferably that the fibre equipment is stored safely out of the way.
Best practice is
1. The box to be in the garage or somewhere else with plenty of accessibility (we see these boxes regularly installed under stairs but ventilation can be an issue)
2. The box to be large enough to house the fibre ITP, fibre ONT, ISP router, home data cabling termination and any other service such as security & home automation
3. The box needs to have mains power outlets (several)
When these three requirements aren't met the technicians sometimes opt for ugly workarounds such as mounting the fibre ONT on the wall which is where side issues present themselves including patch cabling becoming loose/getting damaged and home data cabling not reaching the fibre equipment (making distribution of data services around the home difficult).
Scenario C - Home wiring hasn't been installed to Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum (TCF) best practice
The TCF plays a vital role in the New Zealand telecommunications industry, collaboratively developing key industry standards and codes of practice. The outcome is the long-term benefit of end-users of telecommunications services in New Zealand.
In May 2011 the TCF released their latest Premises Wiring Code of Practice.
The code contains key advice on how wiring within the home is to be done.
In our opinion the most critical components described in the code are:
1. Dual Cat5e cables is run in a star topology from every room in the home, excluding bathroom & toilet. This allows for dual services such as phone & internet wherever required.
2. Multiple outlets are installed in key living areas.
Not specifically in the code (we have a submission pending on this)
3. Identifying where the main television will go and running dual Cat5e cable to this space, for the purpose of supporting current digital television options (on-demand content) and future options such as 4K and higher quality content.
When the code isn't adhered to the new homeowner can find themselves with the following difficulties:
1. Making compromises on where Wi-Fi equipment is installed because of the lack of appropriate cabling. This leads to poor coverage and slow internet performance in key areas such as the main living area
2. Difficulties accessing high-speed services that require hard-wiring between computer and fibre router (wireless isn't an option once you go beyond speeds of 30Mbps due to the nature of wireless radio waves - particularly neighbouring interference)
3. Not being able to access the latest television on-demand services through the primary telly due to lack of connectivity options (a poor Wi-Fi signal doesn't suffice for these services)
It can be easy to sit around in our office and grumble grumble grumble every time we come across customers who haven't had the best install take place because of easily preventable reasons.
Our approach is to be as pragmatic as possible, this is quite easy as a local provider as we can drive down the road and meet with the parties involved who have an impact on our mutual customers experiences.
Introducing Full Flavour's new Ultrafast For New Builds program
Our new program, Ultrafast For New Builds, launches November 2014 and as a brief overview, encompasses the following components:
1. Identify new builds occurring in the Tauranga City area and begin collaboration early on before the gib is up and the trenches have been closed.
Full Flavour's new builds team will meet with builders on-site to discuss how fibre cable will get from the street, to the external termination point and then into the home distributor.
Full Flavour's new builds team will provide the builder a copy of the latest lead-in guidelines document. Full Flavour produces this document in collaboration with Ultrafast Fibre Ltd & Transfield Services.
2. Supply builders with free ducting material they can then incorporate during the build
Full Flavour's new builds team will measure up and supply singleway red lateral direct bury duct to go in the external trench and singleway lszh duct for the internal component.
With Full Flavour and the builder collaborating on these two components, Transfield Services can then come into the picture within a few weeks of the build completion and blow the fibre cable through these two ducts that have been prepared.
No more mess!
3. Ensure the new homeowner has working broadband the day they move into the home
Full Flavour's new builds team will arrange the fibre installation with Transfield Services who will also install our equipment into the home distributor and living room.
On day one of living in the new home, the new homeowner will have access to high speed broadband internet.
The first 30 days of broadband will be provided free and during this time the new homeowner can choose to stay with Full Flavour or switch to their preferred ISP.
If the new home owner jumps ship during the first 30 days, there is no termination fee - we simply come and collect our equipment and the incoming ISP will provide their equipment.
If you're about to be a new home owner or you work in the industry on new residential builds, we're keen to talk.
Our new builds team can be reached by phone on 07 929 7111.
Most of our competitors will say they have the customer's best interests at heart, but only a few of them can talk the talk and walk the walk.
We're looking forward to getting stuck into this program and using it as a way to show that a local Tauranga internet service provider can make a real difference.