New Zealand Broadband Update

February 1, 2010

With the deadline for submissions expired, Crown Fibre Holdings will on Tuesday 2nd of February announce the list of companies who have made submissions to participate in the broadband roll out across New Zealand. All submissions will be evaluated before a report is prepared for the Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce.
Meanwhile two companies who are competing for a contract to supply Auckland have divulged details of their own submissions are listed electricity company Vector and Telecom.

Vector says its bid to roll out ultra-fast broadband across Auckland will result in newer and faster technology than Telecom is offering to provide, while Telecom says it can roll out broadband across the country more cheaply and efficiently using its existing fibre network.

Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie of Vector says they will build a fibre network to 133,000 Auckland premises, including 18,000 businesses, within two years, connect 255 Auckland schools and 57 medical facilities within three years and pass 57% of businesses within four years.

Telecom has submitted two proposals. The first complies with the Government’s preferred commercial model, which was to have up to 33 local fibre companies creating the network separately. However Telecom’s preferred model, is to build on the existing fibre network that its network business Chorus is rolling out to roadside cabinets.

Meanwhile, a group of 19 companies have formed a consortium, called the New Zealand Regional Fibre Group (NZRFG), to deliver broadband to people’s homes and businesses across about 80% of the country and it was proposing to extend out beyond the 33 main centres highlighted by the government.
The consortium proposals are from Waikato-based WEL Networks (the combination of WEL, Waipa and Velocity Networks and Hamilton Fibre Network), plus the Otago and Southland joint venture partnership of Flute Network (Dunedin and Central Otago’s Aurora Energy, along with Southland’s Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company).
Aurora Energy and the management company representing the other two Flute partners, PowerNet, are NZRFG members.
However, all other South Island NZRFG members – Enable Networks, Network Tasman, Electricity Ashburton, Alpine Energy, Network Waitaki and Westpower – were willing to work together.
Northpower has also submitted a bid for the Northland region.
The North Island trio of Unison, Horizon Energy and Eastland Group have all expressed interest in rolling out the initiative across their geographic areas.
CityLink and Electra have pitched further proposals to establish fibre networks in the Government’s preferred candidate areas in the lower North Island.

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