Residential Tenancies Amendment Act makes accessing NZ's fastest internet easier for renters

  • 05/03/2021
  • Sponsored by - Chorus
Residential Tenancies Amendment Act makes accessing NZ's fastest internet easier for renters
Photo credit: Getty Images

However you work or play, the past year proved how crucial fast and reliable internet is for Kiwis and due to a recent law change, ensuring you have the best connection possible is now easier.

Last month the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act was passed into law, making life a bit more secure for renters in many ways but also specifically made it simpler to access NZ's fastest internet - fibre.

Outside of a few narrow exemptions, landlords are now unable to deny renters' request to have fibre installed, provided the installation is free, which it is in the majority of cases. 

Speaking to Newshub, Chorus spokesperson Steve Pettigrew describes the change as 'the last piece of the puzzle' in Chorus' quest to provide all Kiwis equal access to the best possible internet. 

"Now pretty much anyone who wants to have fibre installed can do, and it remains free to do so."

Fibre is, simply put, the gold standard when it comes to broadband. While older technologies utilise the copper network which landlines run off, fibre uses thin strands of glass to pass light signals. Since light is the fastest thing there is, so too is fibre the fastest form of internet technology. 

And according to Steve, this isn't just the best internet you can get nationally, but essentially anywhere.

"Fibre is, by a long shot, the most resilient, high capacity, high quality broadband that's available globally. This isn't just a New Zealand thing, there is no better technology to deliver broadband through."

Standard fibre delivers speeds of up to 1000Mbps, or megabits per second, and can go even higher on some 'Hyperfibre' connections. That top-tier speed allows for rapid download or upload of massive files and frame-perfect competitive online gaming. But for every day consumers, the real benefit comes from higher capacity. 

"It means more people can use that capacity at the same moment...You know everybody in your household is able to stream high quality video while also using their phones and devices for email and anything else."

Residential Tenancies Amendment Act makes accessing NZ's fastest internet easier for renters
Photo credit: Getty Images

With universities back this week, Steve says students in shared accommodation in particular are well placed to take full advantage of the law change. But whether you're a student on Zoom or a parent on Netflix, fibre essentially means you can have peace of mind knowing that no matter what anyone else is up to online in the household, your connection will be stable and secure. 

Steve says fibre makes the internet like any other utility, such as water or power.  

"When you turn on a light in the kitchen, you don't expect another light elsewhere in the house to go dimmer. It's the same thing...fibre allows you to do whatever you want to do, particularly if you're on a plan without a data cap. You just don't have to worry."

The law change doesn't just have to benefit renters, it can also be good for landlords, since properties with high-speed internet access are increasingly attractive and typically demand higher prices.

"What we've seen is those with access to fast broadband tend to have a bump up in price in terms of the price of their property," says Steve. 

"So there's some real benefits for the landlords to do this, not least in the fact that they make that property that much more appealing to renters coming in."

For those wanting to take their fibre even further, Hyperfibre is now available across the whole Chorus network, with speeds up to 4Gbps and even greater speeds on the horizon. The potential applications for this kind of ultrafast internet infrastructure are limitless. 

"Fibre is at the very beginning of its journey. So, you know, already we're looking at two, four and eight gigabit services. They're so fast we don't really know what people will do with them," says Steve.

More than 800,000 homes are now on the broadband network, approximately two-thirds of the total population, and Steve says we're barely scratching the surface of the potential this unlocks.

"You can now sit at Baylys Beach by Dargaville, looking out to sea, running a digital creative business with the same speed and connectivity you'd get in central Auckland. I don't think as a nation we've gotten our heads around quite how good that is."

If you want to find out more or check if fibre is available in your area, head over to Chorus.

This article was created for Chorus