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Rugby World Cup: Fans urged to check internet

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Schools could be RWC2019 lifesavers

ELI HILL
[email protected]

Checking your internet connection is a must-do for diehard rugby fans wanting to watch Rugby World Cup 2019.

Spark has acquired the New Zealand broadcast rights to RWC2019, meaning New Zealanders will be able to view all matches live or on-demand over the internet.

The tournament will be offered on a pay-to-watch basis, with packages to include a tournament pass and passes for individual matches.

But Chorus stakeholder communications manager Jo Seddon said people in Wairarapa could be left frustrated if they don’t check the strength of their internet connection soon.

“What we’re saying is that people need to realise that it isn’t on Sky – there’s no other way to watch the whole tournament live other than the internet,” Seddon said.

“For most devices you’ll need a minimum of 10 megabytes a second [mbs] to be able to stream the world cup. That will ensure you’ve got video coming through, and you don’t freeze halfway through an important kick.”

Chorus owns the majority of telephone lines and exchange equipment in New Zealand and is responsible for installing most of the new fibre optic networks.

Seddon said if people were looking to upgrade their connection they need to get in contact with their internet provider soon.

“Masterton has fibre, so you can get up to a gigabyte per second, more than enough to stream the rugby, Carterton’s just about finished and should be ready by the world cup.

“But we only have a certain number of connection slots that we can fit in nationwide before the rugby, so get connected, get hooked up or at least make sure that you’ve got enough speed.”

TVNZ will screen seven RWC2019 matches live – including the tournament’s opening match and the final.

There will also be several yet-to-be-confirmed delayed matches.

Seddon said that rural areas could also be susceptible to slow speeds – and said a backup option may be to hold fundraisers at schools.

“If it’s not fast enough to stream the rugby, schools might be able to do something, Spark’s offering an app and all schools have fast fibre connections.

“I don’t know what packages Spark is offering but they’ve been talking to the Ministry of Education around how they can stream in rural areas.”

A spokesperson for Spark said the company recommended a minimum download speed of 15mbs to stream RWC2019 on a smart television and a minimum of 6mbs to stream on a mobile phone or tablet.

“You might be able to stream with a slower connection than this, but the quality of the image will be diminished,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s also worth noting that the quality of your streaming experience is determined by a number of factors, including your broadband connection, your modem and where in the house it is located.”

The spokesperson said that they believe the “vast majority” of New Zealanders will be able to stream RWC2019 on Spark Sport.

“We may also look at options like community screenings closer to the tournament.”

The first match of the tournament, Japan v Russia will be played at 9.45pm New Zealand time on September 20, while the All Blacks first match, against South Africa, will be played at 10.45pm the next day.

Spark Sport will make announcements about plans for RWC2019, including pricing and packaging details in April, once the Spark Sport platform has been fully launched.

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