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Chorus and the Crown begin UFB rollout in the South Island

17 October 2011

Chorus and the Crown begin ultra fast broadband rollout in the South Island

Chorus, New Zealand’s largest telecommunications network operator together with Crown Fibre Holdings, has today marked the start of the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) rollout in the South Island by deploying new network infrastructure in Blenheim’s town centre.

Over the next ten months, this massive programme of work will see the new UFB network deployed across central Blenheim and Springlands. In addition, Chorus’ existing business fibre network is being made available at UFB prices.

Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe said the new ultra-fast broadband network will pass some 3,000 Blenheim homes, schools, health facilities and businesses by July next year.

“Today we’ve taken the first step towards Blenheim’s fibre future and we’re eager to work with partners, local council and community groups to extend our network to more suburbs in the coming year,” said Ratcliffe.

”It’s great to see the deployment of UFB commencing in Blenheim,” said Graham Mitchell, CEO of Crown Fibre Holdings. “A transformation in New Zealand telecommunications infrastructure has well and truly begun. We look forward to seeing it reflected in new retail products and services.”

In line with Government policy, fibre will be delivered first to priority customers, which includes schools, health facilities and businesses.

Chorus is working with a range of retail service providers to assist them in developing new fibre-based services. This will enable Blenheim residents to connect to a service using ultra-fast broadband in 2012.

“With a massive reduction in fibre pricing, retail service providers can connect many Blenheim businesses to ultra-fast broadband today,” said Ratcliffe.

This means many businesses can begin to connect to Chorus’ existing fibre services ahead of the UFB network deployment.

Chorus’ website has the list of Blenheim urban schools included in the first year of the UFB rollout, as well as an online map outlining the local UFB candidate area, the first year deployment plans and its business fibre area. This means people can check on the rollout progress and find out if they can connect to the existing business fibre network.

Chorus has already begun the UFB network rollout in Auckland and the Greater Wellington region (including Masterton) with work due to start in Ashburton, Dunedin, Napier, Palmerston North, Rotorua and Taupo within the next five months.

UFB deployment plans for Feilding, Gisborne, Hastings, Greymouth, Invercargill, Kapiti, Levin, Nelson, Oamaru, Pukekohe, Queenstown, Timaru, Waiheke Island, Waiuku and Whakatane are still being developed.

In all, Chorus’ new UFB network will run past more than 43,000 homes, schools, health centres and businesses throughout the country by July next year, building on its existing 27,700km national fibre optic cable network.

As part of the UFB agreement, Chorus has started building the new fibre optic UFB network. Telecom has proposed to demerge Chorus, subject to a vote by shareholders later this month.

Blenheim urban schools included in Chorus’ first year UFB rollout

The following schools will receive a new UFB fibre optic cable connection during Chorus’ first year fibre optic network deployment (covering the period to 30 June 2012):

o Blenheim School
o Mayfield School
o Springlands School
o Witherlea School

The complete list of the first 200 urban schools included in Chorus’ first year deployment can be viewed at: www.chorus.co.nz/ournetwork


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