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Local fibre ownership key to NZRFG submission

Media Statement
2 August 2010


Local fibre ownership key to NZRFG submission

The New Zealand Regional Fibre Group has raised the stakes in the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative through the formation of new consortia.

Only months out from Government decision time on partner selection for the UFB build, the group has trimmed its submissions to seven, while still providing national coverage.

The group is also proposing to establish a common service organisation that will ensure nationwide consistency of service delivery and provide national access for service providers.

With refined submissions for the UFB initiative due today, CEO Vaughan Baker has confirmed the group has developed even greater synergies through the creation of more multi-region partnerships.

He feels the NZRFG’s latest offering provides the Government with the ideal LFC solution by delivering an open access fibre network that is both locally owned and nationally coordinated.

“The Crown’s request for revised proposals allowed members to work very closely to fine-tune submissions that will complement both the Urban and Rural Broadband Initiatives,” says Mr Baker.

“The establishment of these consortia is testament to the collaboration within the group to date and the cohesiveness and alignment of views across the NZRFG members. The NZRFG plan echoes the vision of the Invitation to Participate through the formation of LFCs that retain ownership and control of the underlying infrastructure within local communities.

“The NZRFG members are savvy business operators who have their regions and their communities at heart and who have shown tenacity to work together for what we believe can be a great end result for the country.

“By joining forces, they are providing the mechanisms to leverage this community-based strength, while ensuring the national consistency that will help service providers drive uptake and new innovation on the network.”

Mr Baker believes with more members now working together in clusters, regional fibre builds under the NZRFG business model are an even more compelling prospect.

The common service organisation is designed to lower costs, drive the most efficient build and scales of economy, while lowering transaction costs for service providers using the network and ensure optimum ease of use, he says.

“The entity has been designed in accordance with best practice and leverages the models used in Singapore and proposed in Australia. The new entity provides a unique opportunity for a fresh start as it is not faced with transitioning legacy systems and ‘old world’ telco constraints.”

The NZRFG has consistently pledged to take fibre to the door of as many New Zealand homes, businesses, health and educational facilities as possible with network speeds of 100Mbit/s.

“We have always sought to develop the most dynamic business model that will provide a consistent interface for service providers. It addresses interoperability through members working closely together, making the NZRFG an even stronger entity that can reduce barriers to entry and assist new entrants, resulting in increased competition and even greater innovation for New Zealanders.

“In leading countries around the world fibre is allowing people to work and study from anywhere, anytime and in a highly efficient manner. They can link to work through real-time video links and interact with colleagues as if they were in the office. Fibre will also allow more of us to fully participate in cloud computing, e-health, develop new technologies and business models – and much more.”

Mr Baker says the NZRFG members remain firm in their view that fibre to the door networks will deliver a dramatic step change to New Zealand’s economy through improved productivity and increased international competitiveness.

ENDS

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