New Zealand to get nationwide gigabit FTTH

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

New Zealand access network wholesale operator Chorus to offer $50-a-month gigabit fibre services nationwide from October

New Zealand’s wholesale access company Chorus is promising nationwide gigabit services from 1 October, at a cost to retail telecoms operators of around $50 a month.

The company, which split from the former Telecom New Zealand – now Spark – in 2011, first launched gigabit speeds on its ultra-fast broadband (UFB) services in the city of Dunedin in February 2015.

Now it says gigabit services will be available throughout its UFB footprint from October – an increase from the current download speeds of around 30Mbps.

“Making New Zealand a true ‘Gignation’, beyond the 5,000-plus connections we have in Dunedin, should see us catapulted up the league tables of broadband speed rankings and reinforce the high quality of the broadband infrastructure we're rolling out,” said Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe.

The company, which provides wholesale access services to a range of retail telecoms operators and internet service providers in New Zealand, including Spark and Vodafone NZ, says that download speeds will be “approaching 1,000Mbps” but not quite at a full giagabit.

“Chorus’s gigabit broadband service will run at the maximum speed the network electronics allows today,” said the company. “In practice this means customers will see download speeds between 900Mbps and 970Mbps and upload speeds of up to 500Mbps.”

Chorus’s residential wholesale gigabit broadband service will be available to broadband retailers at an introductory price of NZ$60 a month (US $45) until 30 June 2017 after which it increases to NZ$65 a month. The business service will be priced at NZ$75 a month (US $56) from launch.

The rollout is supported by a government body, Crown Fibre Holdings, which is managing a NZ$1.5 billion investment in UFB infrastructure. The objective is to accelerate the roll-out of UFB to 75% of New Zealanders over ten years.

Chorus has a contract from Crown Fibre to cover 69% of the country with UFB. Other companies in the project are Northpower, Waikato Networks and Enable Services.