Telecom boss: residential fibre launch next month

The fibre war is about to ramp up a notch | Moutter admits he was hit by the Yahoo phishing attack. UPDATED with comment on UFB numbers from Orcon, CallPlus.

UPDATE: It doesn't look like waiting a year into the UFB rollout has hurt Telecom.

Orcon, the first of the Big Five ISPs to launch a residential fibre market when it launched plans in March last year, told NBR Online this morning it has around 1000 customers connected, and 10,000 on wait list for when fibre reaches their neighbourhood (see more on Orcon's UFB expansion here).

The other member of the Big Five to have begun offering fibre plans is CallPlus (which includes the Slingshot brand). This afternoon, CEO Mark Callander told NBR his company had just 200 active fibre connections - most of them schools or business. 

A big residential push is coming next month, the CallPlus/Slingshot boss says.

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Telecom will begin selling residential fibre plans next month.

CEO Simon Moutter spilled the news in comments made at a Telecommunications Users Association event in Wellington last night.

Telecom Retail boss Chris Quin confirmed to NBR ONLINE this morning that the company was go for a March launch - but was mum on further details.

The same event saw Mr Moutter admit he was one of 20,000 (or around 5%) of Telecom customers hit by the phishing attack on YahooXtra.

Telecom's UFB plans will be offered for fibre laid under the public-private Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) roll-out.

So far, only a single-digit percentage of households have fibre running past the curb under the 10-year scheme as the government follows its plan to prioritise business, education and healthcare connections.

Telecom holds just under 50% of the residential internet market, making it easily the biggest player so far to launch UFB plans.

Vodafone - which counting recent acquisition TelstraClear holds around 26% of the market - has previously told NBR it will launch residential fibre around the second quarter (April - June).

This morning, it had no further update.

Back in September, as smaller ISPs launched UFB plans, Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners told NBR the Crown fibre experience was far from ready for prime time, especially around installation.

But testing a trial Vodafone UFB connection in Auckland's Grey Lynn during December, NBR found the fibre experience pleasantly invigorating.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

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