Govt confirms 100,000 homes passed by UFB, but sluggish uptake paints bleaker picture

8 Nov 2012

New Zealand ICT minister Amy Adams has revealed that there are now more than 100,000 urban homes, business and schools able to connect to the government’s in-deployment NZD1.35 billion (USD1.11 billion) Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) network. Of this figure Chorus, the network infrastructure arm spun off from Telecom New Zealand in 2011, accounts for around 72,000 of total premises covered. However, only 700 building owners have currently taken advantage of the opportunity to connect fibre from the kerb to their home or business. Meanwhile, Enable Networks, a fibre company wholly owned by Christchurch City Holdings Limited, which holds the responsibility for cover Christchurch, Rolleston and Raniora, has claimed 1,021 fibre connections to date.

Last week Chorus announced that, in partnership with the government, it would contribute NZD20 million towards the cost of connecting ‘non-standard’ homes to the UFB network, in an effort to encourage greater uptake of high speed broadband services. Up to 30% of homes within the UFB rollout zone are thought to have fallen into Chorus’ ‘non-standard’ category, meaning that they are more than 15 metres away from any given street. That threshold has now been increased to 200 metres, incorporating around 99.3% of the New Zealand population.

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