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NZ infrastructure specialists brief experts

NZ infrastructure specialists brief international fibre experts

The Fibre to the Home Council Asia Pacific - a leading international fibre industry body - says infrastructure companies are well positioned to oversee fibre deployment throughout New Zealand.

Two of the leading contenders for the Government’s ultra-fast fibre broadband roll-out - Vector and the New Zealand Regional Fibre Group (NZRFG) - have been selected to present to a conference organised by the Fibre To The Home Council Asia Pacific this week.

The non-profit organisation has chosen New Zealand for its key gathering of members for 2009, with representatives converging on Auckland from around the world.

The FTTH Council Asia Pacific has sought the collective expertise of Vector and the NZRFG to update members on the spread of ultra-fast fibre broadband in New Zealand to help encourage uptake of fibre to the premise.

Vector Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie welcomes the chance to meet with the Council to discuss the challenges, opportunities and benefits of delivering FTTH solutions.

“It is testament to the fibre momentum gathering throughout New Zealand that a well regarded international organisation has chosen Auckland as its meeting venue. The Asia Pacific region is vitally important for New Zealand's future prosperity and access to a world class infrastructure is fundamental in driving productivity, along with promoting trade and investment in New Zealand.

“Other countries, including Australia, have recognised that fibre to the home is the way of the future. Vector has a clear view on the critical position of fibre enabling increased productivity, business investment and improving New Zealand’s position in the global economy.

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“Vector already has a significant amount of fibre in and around Auckland, along with some in Wellington. We see scope for more fibre and it will be of huge benefit for our regional and national productivity by attracting investment and opening up international markets.

“Having financial backing from the government to assist in the process will simply fast-track what NZRFG members see as critical infrastructure for the future social and economic health of New Zealand,” says Mr Mackenzie.

Already 10 member companies of the NZRFG, including Vector, are in the fibre business and more are preparing to diversify their operations by building regionally based fibre networks.

“The New Zealand Government’s UFB initiative is of considerable interest to our members and hosting the meeting in Auckland provides them with a chance to learn more,” says Mr Y.K Loke, President of the FTTH Council Asia-Pac.

“Around the world, utility companies have often taken the lead in FTTH deployment. We see the activities of Vector and the NZ Regional Fibre Group as being quite natural."

Asia Pacific countries have led the way in FTTH subscribers because of the rollouts in Japan and South Korea, and more recently in China.

“New networks to be built in Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia will further increase the telecommunications advantage that Asia Pacific enjoys,” says Mr Y.K Loke.

Attendees at the FTTH conference will experience Vector’s cutting edge innovation centre – a converted sub-station in the centre of Auckland where Vector is exploring fibre-optic and renewable technologies.

NZRFG spokesperson and chief executive of Waikato-based electricity company, WEL Networks, Dr Julian Elder, is today briefing the Council on the broader fibre perspective of the NZRFG.

“We are fully committed to the Government’s implementation of ultra-fast fibre broadband and think a nationwide move to this kind of communication ability is long overdue,” says Dr Elder.

“I guess that’s why a number of our members have already deployed fibre in urban areas around the country. The strength of the NZRFG is that we have 17 member companies able to provide the regionally owned but nationally co-ordinated broadband fibre solution the Government is seeking for New Zealand.

“Our ultimate vision would be to provide fibre to every business, education and health facility, and home in New Zealand because fibre will enable huge productivity and efficiency gains, provide major benefits for health and education and help strengthen our communities.

“As we are regional and have long had existing infrastructure in place, we understand the local challenges better than anyone,” says Dr Elder.


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