Steady progress continues to be made with New Zealand’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and the Regional Broadband Initiative (RBI). Both are being deployed across the country to secure a national infrastructure suitable for the next decades. Though the networks will not be complete for a few years yet, these deployments will set the stage for many new developments utilising high-speed broadband. Rolling out the UFB, undertaken by Chorus and other local operators, has helped to drive investment in telecom infrastructure, which increased from $1.24 billion in 2010/11 to $1.58 billion in 2012/13, before falling to $1.48 billion in 2013/14.
The uptake of fibre was slow during the first year of the undertaking since such a new development had to compete with existing technologies, and many customers have needed to wait for contracts with ISPs to expire before switching to a new provider. High-speed networks are connecting schools as a priority, with all schools to be connected by the end of 2015. A growing number of businesses and residential premises are also being served.
The RBI is being developed by the joint venture of Chorus and Vodafone New Zealand. Chorus is working on the rural network by installing and upgrading fibre to roadside cabinets and infrastructure equipment, with retail service providers connecting the users. Vodafone is providing a wireless broadband service to many rural communities using the backbone fibre network.
Spark and Vocus Communications create Connect 8 as fibre network construction company; roll-out of the UFB sustaining growth in telecom infrastructure investment; UFB reached 536,000 premises by September 2014; Local Fibre Companies and networks; funding gap for Chorus from reduced wholesale copper prices could be cut from a projected $1 billion to $200-250 million by end-2020; Northpower Fibre completes fibre network build, passing over 19,000 premises; report includes ComCom’s 2013 Monitoring Report, recent market developments.
CFH, Orcon, Enable, Ericsson, WEL, Huawei, Northpower, Vodafone, Chorus, Transfield, Velocity Networks.
Paul has been a consistent champion of improving broadband in Australia, and is most deserving of the industry's ongoing support.
B Beckor, Callpoint, Australia
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