Chorus, the network operator spun out of Telecom in 2011, will clamp down on investing in its legacy copper lines to help drive some $400 million in savings over the next six years as it looks to fill a $1 billion funding hole to build a nationwide fibre network.One way of reading the company’s statement is copper is the first thing for the chop when the chips are down.
When roads get upgraded to cut out the sharp corners, the old windy bits don’t get left open as an alternative – everyone migrates straight away to the new diversion.Current Tuanz CEO Paul Brislen makes a slightly different point on his organisation’s blog:
Likewise from a “NZ Inc” approach it would be very sensible to cut the whole country across to fibre and switch off the copper as soon as its available. Just like analogue TV but much faster. Why maintain two networks?
Sure there would be losers, and issues around compensation. But if this is the right answer from a national perspective, lets address those commercial issues and get on with it. It’s not too late.
…the day will come when each area is completed and Chorus can switch off the copper network. That needs to be managed and planning should start now.This is a measured approach which shouldn’t frighten anyone.
Whangarei will be fully fibred this year – there’s no need for Chorus to continue maintaining a network that is surplus to requirements, yet no thought has been given to Chorus’s requirement to provide the network of last choice.
Once fibre is available to all properties in an area, the copper can go. That’s something we need to plan for right now.