Govt, Chorus name towns and suburbs to get fibre in UFB year three - with slim pickings for Auckland

Auckland UFB coverage by mid-2014

Chorus and ICT Minister Amy have named the towns and suburbs that will get fibre in the third year of the public-private Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) rollout, backed by $1.35 billion in repayable Crown funds.

Tech commentator Juha Saarinen has complained that UFB coverage in Auckland will still be very patchy by the end of 2014 (see map).

The key issue of what will happen when Chorus free connection promotion expires at the end of this year appears unresolved. 

Neither Chorus nor the minister responded to questions on the issue this afternoon.

Chorus (responsible for around 80% of the UFB by premise) says it has run fibre past 62,000 customers so far.

The build plan for June 2013 to June 2014:

  • Ashburton: some areas in Allenton, Tinwald, and Netherby
  • Auckland: some areas in Pinehill, Northcross, Rothesay Bay, Browns Bay, Rosedale, Sunnynook, Forest Hill, Milford, Northcote, Birkenhead, Chatswood, Beach Haven, Auckland’s central business district, Newton, New Lynn, Glen Eden, Henderson, Onehunga, Mangere and Mangere East, Papatoetoe, East Tamaki
  • Blenheim: some areas of Witherlea
  • Dunedin: some areas in Halfway Bush, Kaikorai, Kenmure, Saint Clair and Mosgiel
  • Feilding: Central Feilding
  • Gisborne: Some areas of the central business district and Inner Kaiti
  • Greymouth: some of the central business area.
  • Invercargill: some areas in Waikiwi, Newfield, Waverly and Windsor
  • Kapiti: some areas of Paraparaumu
  • Levin: some areas of central Levin
  • Masterton: the Lansdowne and central Masterton area
  • Napier & Hastings: some areas of Onekawa, and Taradale in Napier.  Some areas of the central business district and Flaxmere in Hastings.
  • Nelson and Richmond: some of the outer areas of Richmond township and the Stoke and Nelson Airport area.
  • Oamaru: some areas in Holmes Hill, South Hill, and Oamaru North,
  • Palmerston North: some areas of Hokowhitu and Milson
  • Pukekohe: some of the central areas of Pukekohe township
  • Queenstown: some of the Frankton and Fernhill area
  • Rotorua: some areas of Westbrook, Tihiotonga, Springfield and Lynmore
  • Taupo: some areas in Acacia Bay, Brentwood, Tauhara, Richmond Heights and areas around Rangatira Park.
  • Timaru: some areas in Westend, Gleniti and Marchwiel
  • Waiuku: some of the central areas of Waiuku township
  • Greater Wellington region including Masterton: Wellington (some of the central business area), Hutt City (some areas of Lower Hutt, Gracefield, Silverstream, and Upper Hutt), Porirua (some areas of Tawa, Cannons Creek, Waitangirua, Whitby, Paramate and Plimmerton), Masterton (some of the northern areas of the town).
  • Whakatane: some of the northern and central areas of the township.

To check timing for your area, see the Broadband Finder on Crown Fibre Holdings' website.

In all, Chorus will extend the reach of its existing 29,000km fibre network to deploy UFB past more than 830,000 urban homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and medical facilities throughout New Zealand by the end of 2019.

Separately, Chorus and privately held FX Networks today announced a $12.4 million fibre project for Gisborne and the East Cape (see RAW DATA below).


RAW DATA: Chorus and FX Networks begin $12.4m fibre project to enhance Gisborne’s network

Chorus and FX Networks have begun a $12.4m project to lay some 190 kilometres of fibre optic cable from Gisborne around the East Cape, delivering critically important network diversity and putting 16 rural schools in reach of ultra-fast broadband.
This project is part of the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), which is jointly funded by government and industry, and it’s expected to be completed by July 2013.

Once in place, the new fibre link will help support high speed data services into Gisborne, which is currently solely reliant on the one fibre link coming out of Napier. This joint project also sees a faster than originally planned RBI rollout on the East Cape, putting ultra fast broadband in reach of 16 East Cape schools 18 months ahead of schedule.

Chorus General Manager of Network Build Chris Dyhrberg said that this is a great example of two network providers coordinating their work to deploy fibre faster to benefit the local community.

“By working together, both Chorus and FX Networks avoid network duplication and can enhance the region’s fibre services far quicker than if we tried to on our own,”

“We’ve seen first hand the difference that fibre technology makes in the way students experience the Internet.  This joint project means we can put more than 1,000 East Cape pupils in reach of ultra fast broadband by July next year,” said Dyhrberg.

“Inter-city fibre construction is a strength FX Networks has developed with nearly 3,000km built in the last eight years.” adds David Heald, CEO of FX Networks. “The new industry landscape forged by the Government’s Ultrafast Broadband and Rural Broadband initiatives is very conducive to industry partnerships and this is a fine example of that. We are delighted to be contributing to the RBI, extending our own network, and to be furthering an already strong relationship with Chorus”.

The East Cape RBI fibre project will put ultra fast broadband services in reach of these local schools:

  • Te Kura Mana Maori o Whangaparaoa
  • TKKM o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti
  • Te Waha O Rerekohu Area School
  • TKKM o Taperenui a Whatonga
  • Tikitiki School
  • TKKM o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou
  • Ngata Memorial College
  • Hiruharama
  • Makarika
  • Te Puia Springs
  • T K KM o Nga Taonga Tuturu ki Tokomaru
  • Hatea-a-Rangi
  • Kahutia Brown
  • Tolaga Bay Area School
  • Whangara
  • Potaka


As part of the wider RBI programme of work, Chorus will put 1035 rural schools and 51 hospitals in reach of  broadband services capable of peak speeds of 100Mbps.  It will also install or upgrade 1,000 fibre-fed cabinets to enable broadband with peak speeds of at least 5Mbps to about 57 per cent of rural customers by the end of 2015.

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5 Comments & Questions

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Why is Hamilton not on this list? It is the 4th largest city in the country!

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Ultrafast Fibre (aka Wel Networks) holds the UFB contract for Hamilton, (and Tauranga, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Tokoroa, Hawera, Cambridge and Te Awamutu). See: www.ultrafastfibre.co.nz

Northpower won Whangarei, and Enable Chrischurch.

Chorus is handling the rollout in other centres.

(Thanks to the various readers who also answered Anonymous.)

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Hamilton is also a nuclear test site in waiting, right along with Auckland LOL!

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who gives a damn. UFB (unafordably fullpriced balse-up) is overpriced and people are staying away from it in droves as the hidden costs (e.g. additional hardware etc) and crappy plans make it less than attractive.

So after all the sabre rattling and hype NZ is really no further along than it was a few years ago. As I see it

We have a fibre network no one really wants to connect to, even though we have borrowed bilions to get it
Mobile prices are nothing short of outrageous
traditional broadband allowances and prices are still awful too
our national telco is about to lay off half its staff and will struggle to re-invest so NZ can play nice on the OECD tables
Multi-national telcos continue to hoover wheelbarrowfuls of cash out of NZ

How about the govt kicks off an investigation into how shoddily the whole telco regulation thing has been handled? I think a few cardigan and walkshort wearing freaks at the commerce comission need to be publicly whipped and then fired.

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While there are, sadly, far too many small New Zealanders who only do small, cheap and nasty, those of us who have lived overseas and have had first hand experience of UFB on fibre can't wait to get hooked up to the real thing. Once people have experienced UFB through friends, family, neighbours etc., they'll be signing up in droves.
The challenge for Chorus and the other successful contractors is to install the network in those places which make good business sense first, i.e., higher socioeconomic neighbourhoods, where people are likely to have already experienced UFB, rather than in those areas which provide feel good politics and votes for the Left.

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