New Zealand broadband wholesaler Chorus has announced that a package of improvements to the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative have been agreed with management firm Crown Fibre Holdings, in a bid to ensure that the deployment is more cost-effective. The initiatives do not require any additional funding from CFH, nor do they change the underlying contractual obligations to pass all premises in Chorus’ coverage area before December 2019. The two organisations have been working together, as requested by Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams in December 2013, to take the lessons learned from the first two years of the UFB initiative and make a series of improvements that will benefit all parties.
Andrew Carroll, CFO of Crown Fibre Holdings, commented: ‘This initial set of initiatives will help Chorus to deliver UFB faster, smoother and more cost-effectively. While Chorus is firmly focused on managing its costs, both parties have worked on the basis that we need to find innovative ways to deliver better outcomes, and that would require a degree of give and take … They give Chorus a greater degree of flexibility to manage its own costs effectively while still achieving the same outcomes and also facilitating the uptake of UFB. In particular, this flexibility will enable Chorus to better manage its cash flow through the peak of the balance of the capital intensive period of the build, as well as addressing some of the NZD1 billion (USD847.9 million) funding gap. There is no one silver bullet that will address this issue, but several small incremental changes all help towards navigating a very challenging period.’