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Steven Joyce

24 May, 2011

Ultra Fast Broadband deal puts NZ ahead of the pack

The government has today reached agreements with Telecom New Zealand and Enable Networks that will complete the roll out of ultra fast broadband (UFB) to 75% of New Zealanders where they live, work and study.

The government will partner with Enable Networks, which is 100% owned by Christchurch ratepayers through the Christchurch City Council, to build an ultra fast broadband network for Christchurch, Rangiora and surrounding areas.

The Telecom deals will see a fibre optic network built in Auckland, the eastern and lower North Island and most of the South Island.

As part of the deal, Telecom must split off its network arm, Chorus, into a completely separate company, so that all broadband retailers can compete fairly to on-sell wholesale ultra fast broadband. Chorus will maintain the Kiwishare obligations currently placed on Telecom.

These are the third and fourth partnerships in place for the roll out of the UFB initiative. The government already has partnerships in place with Ultra-fast Broadband Limited and Northpower Limited covering the rest of urban New Zealand. The UFB is complemented by the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) which is rolling out much faster broadband to our rural communities.

Today’s agreements with Telecom and Enable mean the government will reach its goal of bringing ultrafast broadband to 75% of New Zealanders by 2019. The rollout will start immediately with schools, hospitals and 90% of businesses covered by 2015.

The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Steven Joyce, says the UFB will provide an economic boost to New Zealand as we leapfrog many of our competitors to become one of the most wired countries in the world.

“Ultra Fast Broadband is a key part of the government’s economic growth plan. Broadband speeds of 100 Mbps and more will revolutionise the way many businesses operate – for example high-quality videoconferencing will remove the tyranny of distance enabling face to face contact with clients anywhere around the world without leaving the office.”

Mr Joyce thanked the Crown Fibre Holdings Board and leadership for their work to negotiate such strong agreements on behalf of the Crown and the taxpayer.

“The access prices CFH have negotiated will ensure the benefits of fibre are within easy reach of businesses as well as everyday New Zealanders.”

Wholesale household prices will start at $40 or less per month for an entry level product and $60 per month for the 100 Megabit product. There are no connection charges for households.

Mr Joyce says today is a very exciting day for New Zealand.

“The future of broadband is in fibre, and taking it right to the home will bring significant gains for productivity, innovation and global reach.”

  • Steven Joyce
  • Communications and Information Technology