Chorus to consult on UFB products

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Chorus has today proposed a new range of Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) products, giving Retail Service Providers (RSPs) the opportunity to offer faster speeds and better value over fibre.

The company will now commence a period of consultation with the industry with the aim of having the new products available by 1 January 2014.

Through a statement released on NZX, Chorus says the new products will be made available in addition to the current fibre products that are specified under the Crown Fibre Holdings contract.

RSPs will then be able take these wholesale inputs and develop products and services to sell to end users.

The proposals include fibre broadband at 100mb/s download and 20mb/s upload at $40, as well as offering a new 200mb/s product at $55.

“We are now two years into the roll out of Ultra-fast Broadband and we will be regularly improving our product offerings,” said Victoria Crone, GM Marketing and Sales, Chorus.

“With this move we are aiming to optimise average revenue per user and provide more choice.

“We are excited to be bringing some of the fastest broadband speeds in the world to New Zealand and we believe these enhanced products will really drive home the benefits of investment in fibre infrastructure.

“UFB has the potential to transform New Zealand’s economy, our communities, and the way we connect to the rest of the world.

“At the completion of the UFB roll out in 2019 we believe New Zealand will be a top 10 broadband country and continually improving the speeds and capability offered by fibre will be an important part of achieving that goal.”

Chorus is investing around $3 billion with up to $929 million of Crown financing that will eventually be repaid to deliver fibre optic broadband infrastructure directly to more than 800,000 schools, businesses, medical facilities and homes.

In addition, Chorus is also consulting on making new combined fibre and copper products available to Retail Service Providers (RSPs).

“The industry is in an early transition phase and we need to ensure Telecommunications Services Obligation (TSO) and contractual obligations are met,” Crone said.

“There are also some early transitional issues relating to voice, medical and other alarms, and Sky TV set-top boxes.

“So to promote early uptake of fibre and to allow time for these other issues to be worked through, Chorus is consulting with all stakeholders on transitional combined fibre and copper products for a proposed two year period.

“In particular, medical alarms are services offered by charities who do not have a lot of spare money to develop fibre-based alternatives, and we will be working closely with them to support them in their transition to fibre.

“Fibre is the future and we are strongly committed to offering products to our customers that make it as easy as possible for people to make the upgrade and enjoy all the benefits of fibre-based Ultra-fast Broadband,” she said.

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