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Featherston getting fibre

Fibre optic cables are being installed in Featherston. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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Featherston households with multiple smart devices in use at once are soon getting the option of plugging in a fast, fibre optic cable.

The numerous orange road cones along Featherston streets and holes dug out at the end of roads are for ducting to go in underground to hold the hair-like fibres.

About two kilometres of fibre can be shot through a cable at a time and then hooked up at each address.

Fibre optics are faster and better than VDSL [very high-speed digital subscriber line] copper cable.

Copper uses electrical signals, but these signals deteriorate over distance.

They can be negatively affected by external influences such as electric fences.

But fibre optic cables are made from a pure form of glass with data transmitted as pulses of light.

Chorus has the government contract for the Wairarapa fibre cable install.

“With more people streaming TV programmes and a few people being live on the internet in one household, the fibre has more capacity to manage with this,” Chorus national community relations manager and Carterton resident Jo Seddon said.

“Fibre carries data much faster than copper and has more capacity, which makes the internet smoother.

“It is really much better for people working from home who can be on multiple devices at once and have others in the house on the internet too.”

Chorus owns the network and providers run their services over it. Anyone has the choice to remain on VDSL or to hook into the fibre when it fully installed.

Because Chorus expects demand on the network to keep increasing, it has put two fibres to each household.

“I mean these days, people even have smart fridges, fridges that can tell you when there is no milk left in the fridge. So many things are hooked up,” Seddon said.

Seddon has postponed this week’s community information meeting at the Kiwi Hall because of covid-19 because she needed to bring people in from out of the region.

She would reschedule when the latest covid-19 outbreak crisis was over.

She said the installation of the fibre was delayed during the first lockdown, but she was aiming for it all to be finished by mid next year.

Work was planned to start in Martinborough next year.

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