Much faster broadband speeds are now available across most of Kopu following Thames Coromandel District Council working with Chorus to push forward their upgrade programme.
The broadband cabinet at the corner of Queen and Quay streets that serves most of the area contained by State Highway 25 and the Waihou River can now handle a much greater load of internet traffic at much higher speeds.
Chorus had originally programmed the work to take place in June 2016 but the Council ensured that the work could be done this year but paid for out of next year's budget as originally planned.
At present, the Council had to pay the capital cost to Chorus of moving forward the upgrade, which was $5,520.
Another broadband cabinet, near the Kopu-Hikuai turnoff, that serves businesses by the State Highway roundabout, will be upgraded by June.
The upgrade was announced to local business operators at a meeting on 1 April at the Kopu Station Hotel.
“Fast, steady broadband is as vital to the 21st Century economy as railways were to the 19th Century,” says Ben Dunbar-Smith, Economic Development Programme Manager, Thames Coromandel District Council.
Following the launch, Gerard Linstrom, Chorus's Industry and Communications Manager, came up from Wellington and provided a few tips on how businesspeople can make the most of the broadband upgrade.
• Previously ADSL1 (asymmetric digital subscriber line) was available. Now, the faster ADSL2+ is available, with data capacity of 10 Megabits per second (Mbps).
• Older modems can't handle the higher speed, so residents should check how old their modem is, as they may need to upgrade.
• Check broadband packages with Internet Service Providers as some ISPs have sold packages that can only handle lower internet speeds.
• Make sure computers are using the latest operating system available.
• If a computer is more than three years old, seriously consider getting a new one, because the older models can't handle the higher internet speeds. Likewise for routers.
• Check the wiring on premises. Cluttered wiring, with lots of add-ons over the years for a security system, Sky TV, etc, slow down internet speeds. Consider getting a separate jack that leads from the copper phone line off the street directly to your office.
Linstrom also says business operators may wish to invest in upgrading their broadband package to VDSL (very-high-speed digital subscriber line), which is much faster than ADSL.
“Most ISPs will offer this for an extra $15/month, a sound investment which will make computer support services such as accounting software and video conferencing more efficient,” he adds.
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