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Chair for central North Island Local Fibre Company appointed

Release Date: 14 April 2011

Chair for central North Island Local Fibre Company appointed

Crown Fibre Holdings and WEL Networks today announced the appointment of a highly experienced chair to Ultrafast Broadband Ltd, the Local Fibre Company deploying optic-fibre broadband in Hamilton (including Cambridge and Te Awamutu), Tauranga, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui.

The appointment of Mr Rodger Fisher, who is a professional chair and director, marks significant progress in the development of the Local Fibre Company (LFC). Mr Fisher has had a distinguished career including 12 years as the Managing Director of Owens Group and roles as Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority and of Aviation Security Services. He is currently the Chair of the Lyttelton Port Company.

“We are pleased to have such a credible and experienced professional to chair an LFC that will cover a significant portion of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative,” said Simon Allen, Chair of Crown Fibre Holdings.

“His strong alignment with, and intimate knowledge of, the regions covered by the LFC make Mr Fisher a high calibre chair,” said WEL Networks Chair John Spencer.

“I am delighted to take up this appointment,” said Mr Fisher, “and look forward to contributing to a timely and cost-effective rollout of UFB across the central North Island.”


Background follows.

Background on Crown Fibre Holdings and the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative:

* CFH has been established to manage the Crown's investment in ultra-fast broadband infrastructure over a ten year period to end 2019.

* In December 2010, the Government announced that it had accepted CFH’s recommendations to form the first two Local Fibre Companies, in partnership with Northpower for Whangarei and WEL Networks subsidiary UltraFast Fibre Ltd for the Central North Island.

Background on Ultrafast Broadband Ltd:

A contract was signed in December 2010 by UltraFast Fibre Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of WEL Networks, and Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH) to form Ultrafast Broadband Ltd to roll out UFB for the central North Island, including Hamilton (including Cambridge and Te Awamutu), Tauranga, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui.

Background on WEL Networks and UltraFast Fibre Limited:

WEL is the fifth largest electricity distribution company (by number of connections) in New Zealand. Its core business is the provision of electricity distribution services to the Waikato. The business has nearly 200 staff, a turnover of $96 million and a total asset value of $426 million. WEL Networks has one shareholder, the WEL Energy Trust, a community trust that represents the interests of the local community. UltraFast Fibre Limited is a special purpose vehicle which was created by WEL Networks to partner with CFH in the creation of a Local Fibre Company.

What is a Local Fibre Company?

An LFC is a joint venture between Crown Fibre Holdings on behalf of the Government and a private company to deploy, own and operate a fibre-to-the-premise network in one or more parts of New Zealand under the UFB initiative. It sells access to point to point dark fibre or Layer 1 Services, and lit fibre (containing electronics), known as Layer 2 Services.

Brief biography of Mr Rodger Fisher:

* Former Managing Director, Owens Group Limited

* Former Chair Civil Aviation Authority

* Former Chair Aviation Security Service

* Chair Lyttelton Port Company Limited

* Chair Eurotech Group Limited

Ultrafast Broadband Ltd Board

* Rodger Fisher, Chair

* Dr Julian Elder

* Mark Franklin

* Graham Mitchell

* Richard Prebble

* Keith Tempest

* Sean Wynne

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