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Reiterated Commitment to World-Class Broadband

Telecom Reiterates Commitment to World-Class Broadband Deployment

Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds today reiterated that Telecom was committed to working with a full range of interested parties, including central and local governments, to support the rollout of fast broadband to smaller regional and rural communities.

Dr Reynolds was speaking after Telecom had submitted its finalised Undertakings for operational separation to the Minister of Communications today.

“As a central part of these Undertakings Telecom has already committed to the accelerated rollout of fast broadband that will deliver next generation speeds and services to all towns and cities with more than 500 lines.

“Ninety-nine percent of these lines will be capable of supporting speeds of up to 10Mbps, while around 50% will be capable of up to 20Mbps.

“The deep geographic reach of this deployment, and the high speeds that the new network will support, will give New Zealanders a truly world-class broadband environment.

“And the four-year programme to deploy fibre closer to customers through cabinetisation is only part of an ongoing investment commitment, in a range of areas, that stretches well into the future.”

Dr Reynolds said Telecom believed there are plenty of options for collaboration between Telecom and a number of other parties to widen the footprint for faster broadband still further into remote areas of New Zealand.

“With fixed line broadband now available to some 93% of New Zealanders, many rural areas already have broadband coverage. And we are continually upgrading and extending our network in these areas.

“Now we want to build on this commitment, in partnership with others.

“I’ve already said publicly that Telecom would leave no stone unturned in its desire to work with government – both central and local – and others to find ways of extending even further the reach of the fast broadband network we have committed to.

“We are reiterating that commitment today. While there is a lot of work still to be done to develop options, we are excited at the potential of a collaborative model to help Telecom go where it would not invest on its own, in an effort to realise the vision of world-class broadband infrastructure for New Zealanders.

“Telecom’s focus is now on meeting a tight but workable timetable for operational separation, with our ‘Separation Day’ officially scheduled for 31 March, 2008.

“We are already well advanced on this process. Telecom’s Wholesale unit has been up and running for the past 15 months, and we’ve recently announced that Mark Ratcliffe will lead our network division, or ANS. Mark is now busy building his team and driving a work programme to meet the 31 March deadline.

“With our commitment to a fast broadband network, and other initiatives already in train, telecommunications customers across New Zealand can look forward to an exciting future,” Dr Reynolds said.

ENDS

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