Karitane business owners Sue O'Neill and Jacob Conway have
launched a petition asking the Government to improve the
reliability of the internet in the seaside community. Photo
by Gerard O'Brien.
The slow and unreliable internet in Karitane is stunting
the growth of the seaside town, local business owners say.
Bytewise IT Solutions owner Jacob Conway, of Karitane, said
the petition for better internet was born from the
frustration of 30 failed attempts trying to download software
on a customer's computer.
The internet was inaccessible in Karitane between 3pm and
2am, he said.
The slow or non-existent internet was a challenge to running
his business and he recently lost a contract to create a
website, he said.
The petition asked for reliable, working internet rather than
''I just want a minimum standard of internet that works at
In frustration, he called Vodafone and Telecom and staff from
the telecommunications companies told him they were aware of
the issue but had no plans for upgrades, he said.
Wireless internet was just as unreliable, he said.
Businesses were moving from Karitane, or deciding against
setting up in Karitane.
The internet was poor in Warrington, Waitati, Seacliff and
Waikouaiti and he hoped more communities with internet
problems would join Karitane by creating petitions.
Karitane Store owner Sue O'Neill said the frustrated owners
of an internet-based business recently moved from Karitane to
Auckland because of poor internet.
The petition had more than 80 signatures and more were being
collected in the store and would be handed to Parliament, she
A well-travelled tourist in her store recently told her the
internet was more reliable in Nigeria.
''Is this is as good as it gets?'' Mrs O'Neill asked.
A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokesman
said Karitane was due to get faster, reliable broadband under
the Government's rural broadband initiative.
The Government was investing $300 million to bring faster
broadband to rural communities by the end of 2016.
Fixed wireless broadband would be available in Karitane when
the Vodafone site at Waikouaiti was upgraded in the 12 months
beginning July 1 next year.
Parts of the fixed-line broadband network serving Karitane
were also being upgraded and the community would be notified
once the schedule is confirmed.
A Telecom spokeswoman said Telecom mobile broadband was
possible in Karitane. However, the present coverage was
limited, with no plans for the area in the immediate future.
Residents could investigate buying a Cel-Fi smart repeater
for $946.14, which amplified a 3G mobile signal indoors.