One of Dunedin's leading "Silicon Alley" developers is welcoming the decision by TelstraClear to roll out broadband services in the city's CBD.
Ra Productions, which provided graphics for an Emmy-nominated documentary made by Natural History New Zealand (NHNZ), is using JetStream to send its graphics design work to customers around the world and managing director Scott Pearson says while that's okay, fibre connectivity is better.
"Most of our customers are overseas and we tend to send them low resolution versions of our stuff, which isn't the best."
Ra Productions works closely with NHNZ and has forged ties with Washington DC-based Discovery Channel as well as its Singapore-based Discovery Channel Asia offshoot.
"If it's too badly compressed they don't even get to see what it is we're really trying to do."
Dunedin's Silicon Alley, centred around Dowling Street, contains some of the country's leading multimedia developers, including the multi-awarded NHNZ and Ra Productions. Co-developer of the sporting graphics package Virtual Spectator, Animation Research, is also nearby. All could be within TelstraClear's planned double-loop of fibre.
TelstraClear's group product manager for voice, Rod Grieve (pictured), says the rollout is the first of many for TelstraClear with four more planned for the next 12 months.
"And no, I can't tell you where they'll be just at the moment.
"We'll put fibre in to high-density areas and use wireless for the in-fill and to extend the reach."
The wireless side of the project will make use of the 3.5 GHz spectrum TelstraClear bought at the government's spectrum auction last year and should be available in Dunedin in the next month. The fibre loops will take longer; Grieve expects them to be fully operational by the end of the year.
That's not a moment too soon for web developers eMedia, which already makes use of TelstraClear's presence in the city, according to co-founder Carl McNeil.
"Because of our location we tend to be at the bottom of the list when it comes to rollouts of this type of technology so this is a great thing."
McNeil says having redundancy in the city centre would also be good to avoid having Dunedin cut off next time "a farmer cuts through the cable".
McNeil says he hopes to talk to TelstraClear shortly about additional services the company will be able to offer.