Community-based broadband site goes live

The Commerce Commission's decision not to recommend unbundling of the local loop has forced two New Zealanders to set up a site devoted to the idea of building your own broadband network.

The Commerce Commission's decision not to recommend unbundling of the local loop has forced two New Zealanders to set up a site devoted to the idea of building your own broadband network.

Richard Hector and fellow Wellingtonian Donald Gordon have established NZ Wired and hope other networking specialists will help populate it with ideas and solutions to the tricky business of building your own network.

Hector says the pair have launched the site to help those in the situation they're in - keen to build their own network but in need of assistance.

"So far there are a handful who've registered their interest and a dozen more who have signed up for the mailing list."

The site can be updated by anyone who registers and Hector says already additional information has been put up.

"There's a section on 'cabling considerations' that's just appeared which I must have a look at."

The site will eventually cover areas like what sort of cable is needed and how to run it successfully outdoors or when to use wireless instead of cable and so on.

"We hope it will become a repository of information on how to build a network from the hardware to the software to what to do once your network is built."

Eventually Hector believes a neighbourhood network could get large enough to deal directly with one of the wholesale ISPs and offer a complete broadband service to that neighbourhood.

"Once you're big enough you become interesting as a customer."

Discussion on building your own local neighbourhood network has become more pointed since the Commerce Commission rejected unbundling of Telecom's local loop network. The New Zealand Network Operators Group has discussed the issue at some length and PC World's Juha Saarinen raised the subject in a recent column, pointing out the dangers like "potentially lethal electrical issues" as well as the costs involved.

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