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Local company to provide super fast fibre to Dunedin

Media Release
13 December 2010


Local company to provide super fast fibre to Dunedin

Less than a year after inception, the Flute Joint Venture has been shortlisted for prioritised negotiations with the Government to build an Ultra-Fast Fibre network in Dunedin.

The progress is being welcomed by Flute spokesman and Aurora Chief Executive Grady Cameron who says winning the local UFB contract with Crown Fibre Holdings would be a major boost for Dunedin - a city which contributes heavily to the make-up of New Zealand.

“I am certainly looking forward to progressing negotiations with CFH, and of course, hope to be successful for the sake of Dunedin,” says Mr Cameron.

Flute Network is a joint venture partnership between Dunedin and Central Otago’s Aurora Energy, along with Southland’s Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company.

It was formed to shake up broadband in Otago and Southland by ending New Zealand’s traditional copper network monopoly and sub-standard broadband connectivity in the lower South Island.

Along with Christchurch fibre network provider Enable Networks (prioritised for fibre network builds in Christchurch and Rangiora), the Flute Joint Venture is among those next in line for prioritised negotiations with Crown Fibre Holdings.

CFH Chairman Simon Allen stated earlier today that Enable and the Flute Joint Venture have provided attractive proposals.

Mr Cameron, meanwhile, would like to progress beyond prioritised negotiations and finalise an agreement with CFH so it can co-invest with the Government to deploy more fibre optic infrastructure in Dunedin.

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“It would be of immense benefit to the city. Our intention is to build out an extensive fibre network to all priority users by 2015. That would mean all businesses, government, education, medical and healthcare facilities have ultra-fast broadband to their doors at speeds of 100Mbps,” says Mr Cameron.

Aurora first began bringing fibre to Dunedin in 2008 and Mr Cameron is convinced a citywide fibre network will be the catalyst for a dramatic economic and social step-change.

“Dunedin’s Otago University is a major force in the field of medical and academic research, and a number of Dunedin companies like Natural History New Zealand and Animation Research have established themselves as world-class technology-driven organisations, despite the current telecommunications environment.

“Ultra-fast broadband opens up a world of possibilities for these organisations, and will be a key enabler in retaining Dunedin’s competitive edge.”

“Building out to those priority users by the end of 2015 will be our focus if successful in these negotiations. Having the local knowledge and the regional focus gives us distinct advantage in building a fibre network efficiently and cost-effectively.

“We believe we have the substantial regional infrastructure required to quickly and effectively rollout a fibre network to much of the South. Dunedin will be a very good starting point,” affirms My Cameron.

If Flute and Enable are successful in the next round of negotiations with CFH, the NZRFG’s UFB fibre footprint will surpass 27% of the Government’s proposed nationwide build.

Aurora Energy is part of the 19-strong New Zealand Regional Fibre Group, a collective of lines and specialist fibre companies stretching the length and breadth of the country.

ENDS

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