Priority is to take fibres to schools, hospitals and businesses
New Zealand’s telecommunications utility provider Chorus has been selected to deploy ultra-fast broadband (UFB) infrastructure in the country by Crown Fibre Holding (Crown), an establishment to manage the government’s NZ$1.5bn (approximately US$1.19bn) investment in UFB.
Chrous is one of the five customer-facing businesses of New Zealand’s telecommunications service provider Telecom. But Telecom said that Chorus will be demerged to become a new listed company completely independent of Telecom under the terms of the agreement with Crown.
Chorus said that by 2015, fibre will be delivered first to priority customers in line with Crown’s requirements. Priority customersinclude schools, hospitals and businesses.
Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds said the selection of Chorus as New Zealand’s leading fibre partner reflects Chorus’ proven fibre expertise, its history of delivery through the fibre-to-the-node programme, and its trusted relationships with other telecommunications companies.
"We are excited to be able to play such a significant role in delivering New Zealand’s fibre future. To that end, we will be laying the first fibre for the Ultra-fast Broadband initiative from August this year, while continuing the process to demerge Chorus in parallel," Reynolds said.
Before the end of 2011, Chorus’ existing fibre across New Zealand will be available to Retail Service Providers (RSPs) as open access for connecting customers. Further coverage will be delivered according to the milestones agreed with Crown, said the company.
Telecom added that the entry level wholesale price per month for a 30Mbps plan will be $37.50, while it will cost $55 for a 100Mbps plan.
Further, Chorus will be a nationwide fixed line access network infrastructure operator, which will offer services to RSPs on an open access basis to allow them to build and deliver services to New Zealand end-users.
Chorus also intends to partnering with Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (CCHL) and its subsidiary Enable, which could result in Chorus taking up to a 50% stake in a joint venture in Christchurch and Rangiora.