Northpower Fibre

Ultra-Fast broadband rolled out in Whangarei

Nearly 4000 homes in Whangarei have been hooked up to Ultra-Fast broadband in just a matter of months.

"In the past it was taking quite some time to download movies. We're going to be taking a lot less time, like a minute to seconds, to download these movies," said Darren Mason from Northpower Fibre.

But the Ultra-Fast rollout has not come without its challenges.

Whangarei is the first region in the country to begin the rollout, with 20% of the town's network completed.

However, not everyone has signed on and residents who live close to where a main cable is laid still have to request it to be connected.

"That will take probably a couple of months from when you see drilling in the ground," said Mason.

Residential prices for Ultra-Fast broadband in Whangarei range from $79 to $99 per month.

At decile one Manaia View School ultra-fast broadband has meant a seamless integration of technology and learning.

"The computer, the iPod, the iPad, the laptop - they're all just tools for learning and they help children engage," said principal Leanne Otene.

"It means in any one classroom you can have three or four devices operating, you can have children working at their own level."

Ultra-Fast broadband has made a big difference in the school with a couple of the old rooms transformed into a local television station called North where the children are able to make their own TV show.

"We used to have huge frustrations over uploading and downloading files. We used to do that overnight so that the teacher and kids wouldn't be frustrated - now we can do that instantly," said Otene.

There are plans to hook up the rest of the country with the Ultra-Fast initiative, however the costs are unknown until cables are laid and internet service providers sign on.