I wrote this a couple of years ago after the erection of the cell tower in Okupu. Little has changed since then except for the massive overloading on the local exchange due to the increase in users. There was also an interview on RNZ about the power usage of the Internet where the interviewee was pointing out that each increase in speed (eg; 3g, 4g,…) increases the power used (by a large amount if you want to maintain the same coverage). Unfortunately for the Barrier this means that the tower power system will either have to be upgraded with each upgrade to maintain speed, or we will be back on the metaphorical equivalent of dial up in the modern age.
Anyway, this is my old post.
RBI Great Barrier Island
This is, unfortunately, another example of too little, too late…….
Since the erection of the Vodafone tower in Okupu there have been quite a few advertorials as to how the Island has benefited from the “Broadband” access provided by this tower. Yet no-one appears to have seen fit to compare the tower with any other alternative. So, using a “Fibre‐to‐the‐Premise Cost Study” prepared for Treasury in 2009, a little imagination, and a touch of Google, this is what the Barrier might have had.
Assuming half aerial deployment and half mole trenching (roughly the way the telephone network appears to be set up now) and using the top of the range price in each case we get an average $30/meter for fibre optic installation.
Taking the $3,000,000 and removing $500,000 for management costs (Rather generous I thought), we can divide that to give us 2,500,000/30=83333.3 or 83km of fibre optic cable installed. According to the Auckland Council there are 115km of road on the island. Adding the 10km of fibre that already exists between Claris and Rosalie Bay would give us 93/115 or 80% coverage of the island in fibre optic.
Taking into account that some of the island already has ADSL it appears we could easily have had 100% coverage of the island, with 80% being at speeds twenty times faster than the tower and the rest at speeds comparable to the tower. To make matters worse, it appears that for the same money paid, you would have received roughly twenty times more data on the UFB plans.
I am sure there are holes in this. I hope there are holes in this. Please, if you wish to point them out do so (with references). But, if my numbers are even mildly correct, it is too late. It would appear that the RBI has paid $3,000,000 to place Great Barrier Island on the modern equivalent of dial up.