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Ultra-fast broadband rollout begins in Christchurch

Media Release

8 November 2011

Ultra-fast broadband rollout begins in Christchurch

More than 4,000 homes, businesses, schools and healthcare facilities in Halswell and Aidanfield will be the first in Christchurch to be able to connect to the new ultra-fast broadband network.

The local fibre company, Enable Networks Limited, a partnership between Crown Fibre Holdings Limited and Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, began deploying Christchurch’s ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network today.

Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key marked the launch by visiting Aidanfield Christian School – a local school that will be one of the first to enjoy fibre services when the network goes live next year.

Enable Services Limited CEO, Steve Fuller said, “Enable’s fibre network will play a vital role in the future of Christchurch – especially as we rebuild from the earthquakes and look to create a truly 21st century city.”

“Residents, businesses, schools and healthcare providers in Halswell and Aidanfield will be the first to enjoy UFB with broadband speeds many times faster than those currently available.”

“We’re delighted to see construction of the UFB network in Christchurch and its surrounding centres get underway today. Enable has worked very hard to achieve this milestone since forming the partnership with the Crown in late May, earthquake damage and aftershocks notwithstanding, “said Crown Fibre Holdings CEO, Graham Mitchell.

“Up to 182,000 businesses, schools and homes in Christchurch and its surrounding centres will be able to connect to the network under the UFB initiative – transforming the way they receive and use broadband.”

The Halswell and Aidanfield phase of the construction – passing more than 4,300 premises – will be completed in May 2012, followed quickly by deployment to 3,100 premises in Papanui.

In line with UFB policy, Enable will prioritise the build to businesses, schools and healthcare service providers to the network.

In order to deliver on this commitment, more than 1,200 new premises in commercial areas across Christchurch will have access to fibre by 31 August 2012. This is in addition to the 6,885 commercial premises that can already connect to Enable’s business fibre network.

“By 31 August 2012, around 15,500 premises in Christchurch will have our fibre network run past them,” said Mr Fuller.

Enable is also working closely with Crown Fibre Holdings, the Ministry of Education and the Greater Christchurch Schools Network to deliver fibre services to more schools as the network is rolled out.

After the first phase is complete, Enable will ramp up construction of the network, and expects to deploy past around 120 premises a day across Christchurch, and in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend, Lincoln, Prebbleton and Rolleston.

A detailed rollout plan is being finalised that maps the deployment timeframes over the eight-year build. Enable will be able to provide more information about when specific communities will be deployed to in the New Year.

“UFB is an exciting initiative that will have a significant impact on the Christchurch community as a whole,” said Mr Fuller.

“Christchurch’s UFB network will generate new industry, provide unprecedented access to global markets and services for local businesses, and enable the people of Christchurch to connect with each other in exciting new ways.”


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