We’re waiting for approval to deliver free broadband to ŌCHT tenants.
It’s been a few weeks since Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust and Enable announced a 10-year partnership to get free, high-speed internet to ŌCHT homes in Christchurch.
Enable plans to deliver free, maximum speed (close to 1Gbps) wholesale internet to ŌCHT, and ŌCHT plans to offer a free internet service to eligible tenants.
Things have gone quiet: but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to say. Here are some answers to some of the questions our community has been asking.
ŌCHT and Enable have a partnership to try and get free, ultra-fast fibre broadband to all eligible ŌCHT properties in the Enable network.
Enable is the company building Christchurch’s fibre network. It is also the company that connects homes to the fibre network.
Our plan is still just a proposal: we’re waiting for the government to say whether it can happen. We expect to hear from the government sometime in July.
The plan if we get approval
Enable will connect all ŌCHT homes in its coverage area to the fibre network. Its coverage are includes all of Christchurch and Lyttelton, but not Akaroa.
Enable will also give ŌCHT access to free, fast fibre broadband. ŌCHT will then offer the free, fast fibre broadband to eligible tenants.
ŌCHT will have a help desk and telephone support to help people use the service.
ŌCHT will also have an education service to help people make the most out of the new connect.
Why are ŌCHT and Enable doing all this?
Internet access is an important in the modern world. Surveys tell us too many tenants can’t make the most of the services on the internet because of the cost to connect. We want to make it easier for ŌCHT tenants to access the services others take for granted.
Who does what?
Enable will be in charge of all the physical work to connect homes to the fibre network, and the switch on process. It will also supply the internet, for free, to ŌCHT.
Enable is already laying fibre cable outside many ŌCHT complexes. This is part of the overall fibre rollout in the city. This will continue regardless of what the Government decides about the service.
Enable will connect individual homes to the fibre network once the decision is made. This will be done to a timetable. We will let you know when this will start and when it will start at your complex.
ŌCHT will be the service provider. We will offer the free broadband to tenants, sign them up, and provide a help desk and education to help people use their internet connection.
Enable will handle any concerns or issues with the connection.
ŌCHT will handle any concerns with internet access or user issues.
ŌCHT will offer the service to eligible tenants after the homes at the complexes have been connected to the fibre network. We will let you know when this will happen and when it will happen at your complex.
Who can get the free service?
The service will be offered to eligible people living in ŌCHT homes on Enable’s fibre network. The network includes all of Christchurch and Lyttelton, but not Akaroa.
I live in Akaroa. Will I get free internet too?
Not at this stage. The partnership only covers the area covered by the Enable network.
What will the service offer?
We want to offer uncapped, ultra-fast fibre broadband. It will be free to eligible tenants.
ŌCHT will have a telephone support desk to help troubleshoot any problems people might have.
We’re aiming to deliver 1 gigabyte per second fibre broadband with unlimited data.
How do I join?
ŌCHT will invite eligible tenants to join after the proposal gets government approval. You’ll be asked to sign an agreement when you join up – but it’ll be absolutely free.
Do I have to join?
No. It might be free but it is still a service, so you don’t have to join if you don’t want to. You also don’t have to decide right away – you can ask to join at any time after you’re invited.
Do I have to allow my home to be connected to the fibre network?
Yes, if you want to use the new ŌCHT service or to get a connection to connect with another fibre broadband service.
You don’t if you don’t want to join this or any service. You can change your mind at any time.
Can I get my home connected to the fibre network but not join your service?
Yes. Enable will connect your home to the fibre network but you do not have to sign up to our service. You can still connect to another provider just by signing up with them.
What will it cost me to join?
It’s 100% free. You will be liable for any damage to the fibre connection box but other than that, it’s completely free.
Will I need to supply my own device?
At this stage, you will need your own wifi-enabled device. Smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, laptops, desktop computers and other smart devices will all be able to connect to your internet connection.
I’ve already got fibre connected. How does this affect me?
You can stay with your provider or switch to the new service at any time. If you want to switch you will have to let us know, and tell your provider you want to leave their service. If you are on a contract you may need to pay exit fees. You should do the sums to see whether it is cheaper to pay the fees and switch to the free service, or wait-out your contract.
I have an existing contract, will you pay me out?
No. Joining our service is not compulsory. You should do the sums to see whether it is cheaper to pay the fees and switch to the free service, or wait-out your contract.
I have an existing connection but I am not connected to the internet. Do I have to do anything to join your service?
You need to let us know you want to join. You can do that after the service gets approval and we start inviting people to join our service.
I am moving house soon, can I take my free access with me?
You can transfer your membership to a new connection if you are moving to another ŌCHT home that has fibre broadband connected, or which can be connected to the fibre network. You can’t be an ŌCHT free service customer if you do not live in an ŌCHT home.
When do I get it?
The process could take a few months.
We want to get people connected this year but we have to wait for government approval.
If approved, we will start inviting tenants to join our service. This will take several weeks.
We will then tell Enable who wants to be connected. Enable will use that information to plan a connection timetable.
Enable will share its timetables with ŌCHT. We’ll tell you when Enable will need to do the work to connect your complex and home to the fibre network.
Once connected to the network, Enable will let us know when home connections are ready to be switched on. We’ll let you know when your home connection is ready to be switched on.
I’m already keen to get the internet but I don’t want to wait if the OCHT service is still a long way off. What should I do?
You can join any other service right now. All you need to do is contact the provider and they will arrange to have your home connected to the fibre broadband network.
You can join the ŌCHT service at any time after it’s been offered, so you can leave your commercial provider whenever you want. We advise checking your customer contract, to be sure you know when you can leave your service provider, and to understand any early break fees.
Who will help me get connected?
ŌCHT is in charge of the free service so they’re the first people to contact. ŌCHT will invite eligible tenants to join and will let people know what is happening, and when. It will have a help desk and will offer an education programme to people who need it.
Who is paying for it?
Enable is offering the 1Gbps internet to ŌCHT for free over 10 years. Funders are helping ŌCHT support the service with a help desk and an education programme. So ŌCHT isn’t using normal housing funds to do this.