Frequently asked questions

Why is EA Networks building a fibre-optic network?

EA Networks has been developing a fibre-optic network in Mid Canterbury since 2008. The network was originally designed to support communications across the electricity network. We have now expanded capacity so that properties on the network route can connect.

Why fibre optic internet?

It’s incredibly fast, with access speeds available anywhere from 1Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s (10,000Mbits/s) or more. Fibre optic internet is vastly superior to other communication technologies such as copper, wireless or satellite. Unlike these technologies, fibre is not affected by distance or electromagnetic interference. This means consistent speeds and crystal-clear telephone service, unaffected by distance or proximity to the exchange.  As more and more services are delivered across the internet, in particular TV streaming services like Netflix, Neon, Lightbox, the need for high-speed connections grows. Customers that move to fibre never look back.

What is the difference between copper and fibre?

The main difference is in the speed capability of the connection.  With copper the speed possible drops of as the distance from the supply cabinet increases and is subject to interference.    With fibre the data being transmitted uses light, performance is largely unaffected by distance and interference. The maximum speed can be maintained over large distances.

Do the internet plans come with a landline?

Yes, Internet Service Providers can provide you with options including telephone services. Contact a service provider for more information.

Can I connect to the fibre network?

Only customers that are on the fibre route will be able to connect. We will notify you directly if we extend the fibre network so that it passes your home or business.

Where is the fibre network route?

We have deployed over 520km of fibre across the Ashburton District, and as far north as Lincoln University. Visit our network map for further information.

I’m not on the fibre route, will EA Networks expand the fibre network to my area?

We are always looking for opportunties to expand and grow our fibre network. If you are interested in EA fibre at your place, let us know by filling in the express of interest form.

Why is urban pricing different to rural?

The cost to build and install a fibre optic network in the rural area is significantly higher than the urban area (on average). In order to continue building the rural fibre network we must ensure that these higher costs are covered, either through higher monthly access prices or seeking capital contributions upfront.

Where exactly are the fibre optic cables? Are they on the power poles?

Our fibre optic cables are all underground. Underground cables protect the network and ensure there is no visual impact on the environment. Only our cabinets sit above ground, and these are usually situated within electricity network zone substations.  Refer to our fibre network map which shows the indicative location of our fibre. It is important to remember that if you plan to dig or excavate you must contact BeforeUDig to get accurate cable plans.

How much will it cost?

We charge a small installation fee to connect your home or business to our network. Retail Service Providers set charges for broadband and telephone services. Prices are competitive so you should shop around and choose the provider and product that best suits your needs. Click here for further details.

What will happen on a site visit?

a. There are generally two site visits; one to assess your property and to understand how we will complete the connection. The second is to then install the network on your property.

b. Our Client Services Representative will make appointment to visit your site. We need to understand where the fibre connection will terminate in your home/business. We take the time to ensure that the works required will the most efficient in terms of time and cost and cause the least disruption. During the visit we will explain how the connection will be completed and answer any other questions you may have.

c. After the initial assessment is complete we will schedule the works. Our teams will complete the in home/business works including installing a small electronic device as well as ducting to the outside of the building. We will then install underground a duct from the building across your property to the roadside – this is where we connect your on-property network to the main fibre network. Typically we use a mole-plough to run the duct underground.


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