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NZRFG members contend for national awards

NZRFG members contend for national awards

Four members of the New Zealand Regional Fibre Group are contenders for an array of national telecommunications awards.

Christchurch’s Enable Networks and Whangarei’s Northpower have joined Hamilton based Velocity Networks and Auckland’s Vector in four award categories – exposure NZRFG CEO Vaughan Baker says is warranted.

“This highlights the presence of our group and the evolution that is occurring in telecommunications – a space that will be very different in a few years,” says Mr Baker.

“These members, and others within the NZRFG, really are leading the way in the development of cost-effective regional ultra-fast fibre networks. They have a lot to offer the Government in the UFBI and RBI constructs.”

The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) has selected Enable Networks and Velocity Networks as finalists in the ‘Next Generation Fibre-Optic Network Award’, while Enable boss Steve Fuller lines up alongside the likes of Velocity’s Shane Hobson as ‘Innovator of the Year’ for 2010.

Northpower and Vector have been nominated in the ‘Telecommunications Carrier of the Year’ category, while Vector is also in the mix for ‘Initiative of the Year’. Winners will be announced on September 2.

With Enable’s fibre network now reaching around 80% of Christchurch businesses, it is providing a benchmark for metro fibre networks with the scale to reach all businesses and homes with ‘home run’ fibre – a practice which ensures each home or business has a dedicated fibre back to the fibre exchange (Central Office). That means fibre and bandwidth is not shared with other customers, resulting better network performance and long tem cost savings.

CEO Steve Fuller says the affordability and extent to which Enable’s fibre and Ethernet service meets standards for open access has created a major transformation of the telecommunications and IT environment in the city.
“Enable has also built an ultra high speed schools network that has become the fastest growing schools network in the country with over 90 schools contracted and eager to participate in the sharing of IT and teaching resources,” says Mr Fuller.

Velocity Business Development manager Shane Hobson believes his ‘Next Generation’ nomination is in recognition of Velocity’s vibrant open access ultra-fast broadband network which connects corporates, small businesses and residential customers to a range of service providers around Hamilton.

“We are continuing to develop and test innovative solutions to lower our construction and operating costs so as to offer lower cost services to our customers and better meet the Government’s ambitious goal of UFB to 75% of New Zealanders,” says Mr Hobson. Vector’s nomination is in recognition of developing a fibre to the door network design tool that can reduce Fibre to the Door (FTTD) design time by 60%. It has potential to drive major efficiencies in the Government’s ultra-fast broadband initiative (UFBI) and its rural broadband initiative (RBI).

The new tool drastically reduces network design complexity by analysing more than 50,000 known demand points (e.g. homes or businesses) which are clustered and aligned to adjacent property boundaries to form fibre concentration areas. It may be the only tool in the world that allows designers to logically segment brown-field regions.


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