The Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative is a New Zealand Government program of building a fibre-to-the-home network by means of a public–private partnership as part of the National Party's 2008 election promise of an Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative. It is expected to spend NZ$1.5b, and connect 75% of New Zealand's population.
- Targets 1
- Partner companies 2
- Technology 3
- ISPs with UFB offering 4
- Regulatory holiday 5
- References 6
- External links 7
The Ultra-Fast Broadband project plans to connect optical fibre to all schools and public hospitals, most private health facilities and most businesses by 2015. Urban and suburban residential areas will have fibre connected gradually, with new development areas being a high priority. Eventually, it plans to connect 75% of the population by 2019.
Crown Fibre Holdings Limited is a Crown-owned company set up to manage the project. Four companies are involved in this project.
- Northpower: Whangarei (finish by 2014)
- UltraFast Fibre Ltd: Hamilton (including Cambridge and Te Awamutu), Tauranga, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui
- Enable Networks Limited: Christchurch (including Rolleston) and Rangiora
- Chorus: Auckland, Waiheke Island, Pukekohe, Waiuku, Rotorua, Taupo, Whakatane, Gisborne, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Feilding, Masterton, Kapiti, Levin, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Greymouth, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill.
Telecom split Chorus off into a separate company at the end of 2011 and CFH invested NZ$929 million directly in Chorus with 50% being non-voting shares and 50% interest free loans. For the other three companies, they will each form a joint venture known as a local fibre company with CFH: Whangarei Local Fibre Company Limited, UltraFast Broadband Limited.
The Ultra-Fast Broadband project plans to provide speeds of at least 100Mbit down and 50Mbit up. The technology used will be GPON for residential and point to point for large businesses. Dark fibre would also be available for special use.
The local fibre companies offer the fibre to the home for the ISPs and their customers to use, many plans are available. At most residential addresses, there are around a dozen ISPs to choose from, as of mid 2014 plans range from 30 to 200Mbit/s down with 10 to 200Mbit/s up. Plans are available from $75 per month, with a data cap, $79 per month for unlimited data. Not all plans and ISPs are available in every city and suburb, there needs to be some interconnect for each ISP in each urban area for the service to be available from a particular ISP, the connection from the long distance back-hall between cities and the GPON for the customers residence.
ISPs with UFB offering
- My Republic
- Vetta Technologies
Initially, the Ultra-Fast Broadband network would not be subject to the regulations placed on other telecommunications companies by the Commerce Commission until 2020. After protests by telecommunications companies, consumer groups and opposition parties, the government allowed Crown Fibre Holdings to be regulated by the Commerce Commission. However, the government agreed to pay compensation to the partner companies if they lose money as a result of Commerce Commission regulation.
- "Crown Fibre Holdings". MED. 9 September 2010.
- Joyce, Steven (29 October 2009). "Crown Fibre Holdings Board appointments" (Press release). New Zealand Government.
- Fletcher, Hamish (25 May 2011). "Green light for two Telecoms". New Zealand Herald.
- "Eleven telcos, consumer groups unite against Crown Fibre bill". National Business Review. 11 April 2011.
- Joyce, Steven (18 May 2011). "Regulatory forbearance to be replaced" (Press release). New Zealand Government.
- Bennett, Adam (18 May 2011). "Joyce scraps regulatory holiday from broadband bill". New Zealand Herald.
- Crown Fibre Holdings
- Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
- Northpower Fibre
- Ultrafast Fibre