24 May 2011
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UFB partners announced

Telecom and Enable Networks have been selected by the government as partners in the roll out of ultra fast broadband (UFB). 

The government will partner with Enable Networks, 100 percent owned by Christchurch ratepayers through the City Council, to build out UFB in Christchurch, Rangiora and surrounding areas. 

Cantebury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the roll out is estimated to create as many as 3,500 jobs in Canterbury over the next eight years. 

Telecom's network arm, Chorus, will be responsible for the fibre optic network in Auckland, eastern and lower North Island and most of the South Island - around 69 percent of the total contract. 

Under the deal, Chorus will be spun off into a separate company, in order to maintain a level playing-field for competing broadband retailers. 

The Telecom and Enable Networks deal follows partnerships the government already has in place with Ultra-fast Broadband Limited and Northpower, covering the rest of urban New Zealand. 

Rural communities will be serviced under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI). 

Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Steven Joyce, said the UFB will enable New Zealand to "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," said Joyce. He said UFB will connect businesses with international markets, making it easier for small firms to earn export dollars. 

Joyce said negotiated prices will ensure the high-speed network is within the reach of businesses as well as individual New Zealanders. 

Wholesale household prices will start at around $60 per month for 100 Megabit plans, with no connection fee. 

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

Approved Agreements:

  • Northpower Limited: covering Whangarei
  • Ultra Fast Fibre Ltd, led by WEL Networks: covering Hamilton (including Cambridge and Te Awamutu), Tauranga, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui
  • Enable Networks Limited: covering Christchurch (including Rolleston) and Rangiora
  • Chorus: covering 24 Candidate Areas (all areas except those covered by Enable, UltraFast Fibre Limited and Northpower): Auckland, Waiheke Island, Pukekohe, Waiuku, Rotorua, Taupo, Whakatane, Gisborne, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Feilding, Masterton, Kapiti, Levin, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Greymouth, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill.
Photo credit: Kainet via Flickr

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