Chorus broadband, fibre connections rise in first quarter

Total broadband connections rose to 1.23 million by March 31.

Chorus [NZX: CNU], the telecommunications network operator, increased broadband connections 0.4%  in the March quarter as customers continued to move away from fixed-line services on the copper network to fibre.

Total broadband connections rose to 1.23 million by March 31 from 1.22 million three months earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. Fibre connections jumped 21%  to 112,000. Chorus was halfway through its fibre rollout by the end of the first quarter, with building completed for 435,000 premises out of the targeted 830,900.

Fibre uptake improved to 22%  from 19%  in the December quarter, and Chorus said it was completing an average of 480 fibre connections per weekday, up from 450 in mid-February.

Fixed-line connections shrank 0.8% to 1.74 million in the quarter, with Chorus saying the decline was expected as consumers continue to shift to fibre and 'naked' services, where customers have an internet connection without a landline.

The company won the lion's share of the government's programme to build a fibre telecommunications network to 75% of the country, a target which has since been extended to 80%.

Chorus estimates the fibre network will cost between $1.75 billion and $1.8 billion to build, and forecast capital expenditure of between $580 million and $630 million in 2016.

The shares last traded at $3.99, and have increased 2.1% this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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