GREG McGrath and other Chorus employees sit down with Opotiki residents to explain the ins-and-outs of fibre internet. Photo supplied

SUPER fast broadband will be operational in central Opotiki early next year.

This was confirmed by Chorus last week at an information evening on Wednesday.

Fibre cables were scheduled to begin being laid in the central business area yesterday.

Chorus stakeholder communications manager Jo Seddon said the fibre system was expected to be complete and commissioned for the business district between the end of February and the end of March next year.

The laying of the fibre cable to residential areas is scheduled to begin in November/December, and is expected to be operational by the end of March next year. The laying of cables and connections to businesses and private homes will be free.

Once Chorus advises that a business or home is “fibre ready” via a letter to the address, internet providers will complete the connections to modems.

Ms Seddon said this service would be optional to opt into, and residents could remain on the current network if they wished.

“You don’t have to change if you don’t want to, but why wouldn’t you?” she said.

Ms Seddon said download speeds of about one gigabyte per second could be expected, with speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second in testing stages.

By comparison, Opotiki’s fastest alternative – VDSL – can achieve download speeds of between two and nine megabytes per second.

This network uses copper wires and pulses to send information, and have a failure rate of about 12 to 15 faults per 1000 lines.

The new fibre system instead uses light, and has a failure rate of six faults per 1000 lines.

National field capability manager Greg McGrath said this was only during the installation periods, and once the system was fully in place, tests in Auckland predicted less that one percent in failure rates.