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Fair Go: June 27

Published: 5:30PM Wednesday June 27, 2012 Source: Fair Go

Cabin fever
Reporter: Pete Cronshaw
Fair Go is on the trail of the Kopu Cabin man!

We investigate an outbreak of cabin fever in the Waikato. Temperatures are rising after the Kopu cabin man closes shop and disappears leaving several people cabinless and thousands of dollars out of pocket. Tiaan Potter, a high functioning autistic boy, wants a place to call his own. Cade Coxon, sick of sharing a room with his sister, wants a man-cave. Chris Inglis and Helen Mahoney just want a shed to store their tools. Fair Go tracks down the Kopu cabin man, who admits he can understand why people might call him "as slippery as eel in a bucket of snot".

A quote is a quote       
Reporter: Gordon Harcourt
Why isn't Just Energy honouring its quote?

Cindy from Hawke's Bay got a knock on the door one night. It was a salesperson from Just Energy, and she had a great deal to sell.  Cindy could get around $50 or more off her monthly bill.  Who wouldn't take that?  Cindy did.

Small problem.  The salesperson was wrong.  She quoted (in writing) about 21 cents per unit.  She made a mistake.  It should be about 28 cents.

But a quote is a quote, isn't it?  Surely Just Energy will honour the deal?

No they won't.  And they say they don't have to.  Unless you've signed up for a fixed price for a fixed term, your energy retailer can bump up the price you pay with 30 days' notice, and that's what Just Energy have done.

Just Energy, we say just honour the quote.

Why are we waiting?
Reporter: Amy Kelley
A six-year wait to access the internet?

If you thought queuing at the bank or post office was bad enough... imagine being placed on a years-long wait list for something as basic as the Internet!

Last week's story about rural broadband - or the lack thereof - prompted a flood of feedback from viewers who've been told it'll take years to get connected to a fixed line.

The problem arises when network cabinets run out of ports for households to connect to.

We speak to 15 year-old Joel Provan, who's been told he could be waiting six years.

Last week's story on Rural Broadband looked at some of the most common alternatives to a fixed-line connection. Some of our tech-savvy viewers have even more ideas:

* Public Band Wireless. This uses the free radio spectrum to provide long-range wi-fi. It's basically an industrial version of the wi-fi network you use in your home. To be eligible, you have to be within 40km and the line of sight of a radio tower. You then have to find a provider (check out They'll do a site survey at your property, and if they can establish a signal, connect you up. This involves installing a 'client radio' outside. Installation ranges from $200 - 700 and on-going costs are $39 - 89 for high-speed internet.

* A suggestion from Fair Go viewer Simon Bridge: "It is usually possible for one or more households with broadband to buy more bandwidth than they need, and sublet it to neighbouring properties via a radio transceiver. This is a similar setup cost to [Public Band Wireless] but the cost is borne by several households (+ they need a wi-fi link each). It's a bit like setting up a very strong wi-fi hotspot. People with satellite internet could do that sort of thing. They'd basically become an ISP - they'd need technical help, but the software to run a small ISP is free too."

Regional Wireless Internet Providers:

Uber Group Northland 0508 BROADBAND
Northland Connect Pahia, Kerikeri 0800 126 226
Ngatiwai Net Matapouri, Whananaki, One Tree Point, Leigh 0800 891 383
Strata Networks Kaipara Flats 0800 950 794

Ynet Waiheke Island 09 950 3747
Netsmart Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty 0800 638 762

No.8 Wireless Hamilton 07 974 9985

Eastern Coast of North Island
EOL Tauranga 07 577 0066
Taylor Communications Hawkes Bay 06 929 9082 Gisborne 06 867 6384
Now! Hawkes Bay 0800 GET NOW
Wasp Net Napier 0800 784 6437

Central and Lower North Island
Primo Wireless Taranaki 06 756 6620
Inspire Manawatu, Horowhenua 06 357 8559
Airstream Manawatu, Horowhenua 0800 124 778
Thin Air Manawatu, Horowhenua 0508 844 624

Wellington Region
Wiz Wireless Wairarapa 06 370 9210

South Island Marlborough 03 315 8388 South Otago 0508 748 376
The Pacific Top of South Island 03 543 9094 South Island 0800 001 581
WIC Dunedin 0508 123 WIC
Wireless Web South Island 0800 438 932
Altra Internet Banks Peninsula 027 222 1159
Country Net Queenstown 03 450 0039
Scorch Communications South Island 0800 726 724
Net Speed Christchurch 0800 Netspeed

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