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Ultra-fast broadband rollout begins in Wellington

MEDIA RELEASE 31 August 2011

Ultra-fast broadband rollout begins in Wellington

Chorus, New Zealand’s largest telecommunications network operator together with Crown Fibre Holdings, has today marked the start of the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) rollout in Greater Wellington by deploying new network infrastructure in Kelson.

Over the next ten months, this massive programme of work will see the new UFB network widely deployed across the Greater Wellington region. Work will get underway in Lower Hutt City’s Kelson suburb, Wellington’s Churton Park, Porirua’s Papakowhai, Aotea, Whitby, Mana, Cambourne and Plimmerton suburbs; as well as Central Masterton including premises north of Chapel Street. In addition, Chorus’ existing business fibre network, available in Upper Hutt and elsewhere across the region, is being made available at UFB prices.

Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe said the new ultra-fast broadband network will reach some 150,000 homes, businesses, schools and health premises across the region by 2019.

“Today we’ve taken the first step towards Wellington’s fibre future and we’re eager to work with partners, local council and community groups to extend our network to more suburbs in the coming year.” “By July next year, we’ll have run the new UFB network past at least 9,200 homes, businesses and medical centres in the wider region by extending our existing 1,120km fibre optic network,” said Ratcliffe

”It’s great to see the deployment of UFB commencing in the Greater Wellington Region,” said Graham Mitchell, CEO of Crown Fibre Holdings. “A transformation in New Zealand telecommunications infrastructure has well and truly begun. We look forward to seeing it reflected in new retail products and services.”

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In line with Government policy, fibre will be delivered first to priority customers, which includes schools, health facilities and businesses.

Chorus is working with a range of retail service providers to develop and launch new UFB wholesale services in 2012. At the same time it is opening up access to its existing business fibre area at significantly reduced prices and offering a wider range of services.

“With a massive reduction in fibre pricing, retail service providers can connect many Wellington, Upper and Lower Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti and Masterton businesses to ultra fast broadband today,” said Ratcliffe.

This means many businesses can begin to connect to Chorus’ existing fibre services ahead of the UFB network deployment.

Residents in the region can find out if they are included in the UFB rollout, check on its progress and see if they can connect to the existing business fibre network today, by entering their address into Chorus’ online fibre map:

www.chorus.co.nz/ch-ournetwork Chorus has already begun the UFB network rollout in Auckland and work is due to start in Ashburton, Blenheim, Dunedin, Napier, Palmerston North, Rotorua and Taupo within the next six months. UFB deployment plans for Feilding, Gisborne, Hastings, Greymouth, Invercargill, Kapiti, Levin, Nelson, Oamaru, Pukekohe, Queenstown, Timaru, Waiheke Island, Waiuku and Whakatane are still being developed.

In all, Chorus’ new UFB network will run past more than 800,000 homes and businesses throughout the country by end of 2019, by extending the reach of its existing 27,700km national fibre optic network.

As part of Telecom’s UFB agreement with Crown Fibre Holdings, the deployment of the new fibre network has begun to enable customers to connect to UFB services before a demerger of Chorus from Telecom is voted on by shareholders later this year.

ends

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