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Northpower Fibre UFB orders continue to surge

Northpower Fibre UFB orders continue to surge

Northpower has largely cleared the initial backlog of UFB orders but the volume of orders continues to climb.

Only a couple of dozen underground fibre connections are left over from May bookings and they should be complete within a fortnight.

Northpower Network General Manager Graham Dawson says the short-term bottle neck was caused by civil work for underground connections.

“We are working with existing contractors to increase this capacity and we have also engaged additional contractors,” says Mr Dawson.

“We can do overhead connections very quickly – in a matter of hours once we land on site – but underground work always takes longer. In saying that, we are making really good progress on the June and July orders.

“This latest surge in orders has occurred over a period where not only have we had minimum daylight but we had to deal with the most severe storm event in seven years. That really stretched our resources but the Northpower Fibre network performed flawlessly.

“However, I’m sure people are appreciative of the fact we are providing virtually all of these connections free and long term they will end up benefitting from a share in the ownership of this fibre network. This is great for Northland.”

In the past three months alone Northpower has connected more UFB customers than it did in the 11 month period from April 2013.

More than 200 customers were connected in June and over 250 in July. That means new connections increased over 250% when comparing July 2014 to July 2013. There is the potential to reach a connection level of 400 per month.

Northpower Fibre has one of the highest UFB uptake rates in the country (10%) and this continues to increase by more than 1% per month which is unprecedented for UFB in New Zealand.

More than 2000 people are on the Northpower Fibre network and that figure could
double by the end of the next financial year.

Mr Dawson says the recent surge in orders was expected but the current levels have significantly exceeded expectations.

“This is a great problem to have and the team is rising to the challenge to meet the demand,” says Mr Dawson.

“At any one time we expect to have between 100 and 200 people on the provisioning list and retail service providers are seeing increased demand which could bring on hundreds more connections in months to come.

“As always, we’ll do things right, we’ll work safely and we’ll connect people to our network as quickly as we practically can. We really appreciate their support and Northpower Fibre CEO Darren Mason says it is pleasing to see such high demand but would like to hear from any customers still awaiting connection from May.

“The way we are tracking we could have more than 10,000 people connected to the
Northpower Fibre network in around four years,” says Mr Mason.

He says retail service providers operating on our network have been doing a superb job driving uptake and connecting UFB customers.


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