Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Chorus slows connection defection as it defends fixed lines

Chorus slows connection defection as it defends fixed lines

By Paul McBeth

Nov. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Chorus says it's slowing the loss of connections to other fibre providers and Spark New Zealand's fixed wireless hybrid after it beefed up effort extolling the benefits of fixed-line telecommunication service.

Wellington-based Chorus lost 20,000 fixed-line connections in the three months ended Sept. 30, slowing the quarterly loss of between 30,000 and 40,000 in the three prior periods. Chief executive Kate McKenzie told today's annual meeting in Wellington that loss of connections was one of the biggest challenges facing the network operator and prompted much more active engagement in promoting fixed-line services.

"We aren't looking to become a retailer, but we do think we have an important role to play in helping to ensure customers have accurate information about their broadband options," McKenzie said in speech notes published on the NZX. "The decline in connections has slowed progressively in the last few months and broadband connections through the first quarter were almost flat. But there's still plenty more we can do."

Chorus was drawn into defending its patch when its biggest customer - Spark - launched its fixed wireless broadband service as a viable alternative to a copper-based connection to sidestep the input cost it would have to pay the wholesaler. Spark's aggressive marketing pitted the product squarely against copper which the retailer accused of being unreliable.

McKenzie today lauded the work of consumer lobby Consumer New Zealand, which recently published a report that "some of the claims being made about wireless performance don't stack up relative to fixed-line options given speed, data and congestion limitations," she said.

Chair Patrick Strange told shareholders the new regulatory framework dictating Chorus's wholesale pricing isn't expected to change with the new government, given the leading Labour Party had supported the regulatory direction.

However, Strange said the new framework "has not dealt with the rural parts of New Zealand where the costs are highest" and it "will be something that needs to be looked at if New Zealand wants to incentivise ongoing investment and enable better broadband for people in non-fibre areas."

Chorus missed out on the second round of the government's rural broadband initiative because it's not a mobile operator, but did participate in the expansion of ultra-fast broadband. Strange said that will lead to the company taking on an extra $100 million of peak debt funding and the extra capital spending was behind the underwrite for the dividend reinvestment programme.

The shares rose 0.4 percent to $4.03, having increased 1.1 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Government: Delivering Lower Card Fees To Business

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses ... More>>

SEEK NZ Employment Report: April 2021

OVERVIEW OF APRIL 2021: STATE OF THE NATION: April, for the second consecutive month, saw the highest number of jobs ever advertised on seek.co.nz. Applications per job ad fell 9% month-on-month (m/m). SEEK job ads were up by 12% m/m. SEEK job ads were ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Warns Genesis Over Business Billing Errors

The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to Genesis Energy Limited about billing errors concerning electricity line charges to business customers. Genesis reported the errors to the Commission. The Commission considers that Genesis is likely to ... More>>

Stats: Lower Job Security Linked To Lower Life Satisfaction

People who feel their employment is insecure are more likely than other employed people to rate their overall life satisfaction poorly, Stats NZ said today. New survey data from the March 2021 quarter shows that 26 percent of employed people who thought ... More>>

The Conversation: The Outlook For Coral Reefs Remains Grim Unless We Cut Emissions Fast — New Research

A study of 183 coral reefs worldwide quantified the impacts of ocean warming and acidification on reef growth rates. Even under the lowest emissions scenarios, the future of reefs is not bright. More>>

The Conversation: Why Now Would Be A Good Time For The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand To Publish Stress Test Results For Individual Banks

Set against the backdrop of an economy healing from 2020’s annus horribilis , this week’s Financial Stability Report (FSR) from the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) was cautiously reassuring: the country’s financial system is sound, though vulnerabilities remain. More>>