08 Mar 2011
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Crown Fibre prioritises Central Fibre talks

Crown Fibre Holdings has selected the Central Fibre Consortium for prioritised negotiations in the Ultra Fast Broadband initiative.

The Central Fibre Consortium consists of Unison Networks Limited, Counties Power Limited, Eastland Group Limited, Horizon Energy Distribution Limited and Central Lines Limited.

The consortium covers 10 UFB candidate areas, comprising Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Taupo, Pukekohe, Waiuku, Whakatane, Gisborne, Feilding and Masterton.

Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Steven Joyce (pictured), said it was good to see a large number of bidders stepping up to the mark.

"This ensures the Crown has competitive options that will deliver the best overall solution for taxpayers and consumers," he said.

The Central Fibre Consortium joins the five other parties currently in prioritised negotiations:

  • Telecom - 25 candidate areas
  • Vector – Auckland
  • Enable Networks Limited - Christchurch and Rangiora
  • Flute Joint Venture (represented by Aurora Energy) - the Dunedin candidate area
  • Alpine Energy – Timaru
CFH Chairman, Simon Allen, said that two companies in the consortium - Counties Power and Unison Networks – already have existing fibre optic networks.

"Fibre to the premise will not only enhance the way we do things in major urban areas, but also in smaller population centres,” he explained. "It will make regional centres more competitive, improve our health and schooling systems, and help local businesses to connect to world markets.”

Allen also welcomed the new competition to Telecom.

"It is great to have Telecom and the Central Fibre Consortium contesting the opportunity to become the Crown’s partner for UFB in regional cities such as Napier and Palmerston North as well as smaller centres like Whakatane and Masterton,” he said.

It was only last week that the government was tipped to be considering a delay to the UFB project

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