The "Invitation to Participate" (ITP) invited potential partners to co-invest with the government for 100Mbps broadband in one or more areas. Proposals must meet criteria for the "Specified Layer 1 Service" but there may be extra "alternative" proposals as well, and the selected partners would form a "Local Fibre Co" (LFC) at arms length from its shareholders, ie being a self-contained entity with its own premises and staff. Crown Fibre Holdings would be a shareholder for each Fibre Co's first 10 years of operation.
Objectives for FTTP in NZ
- Directed to open-access infrastructure.
- Focussed on building new fibre within each area.
- Ensuring affordable broadband services.
- Selection of proposals that meet ITP criteria.
- The target is coverage for 75% of nationwide population, including centres as small as 10,000 residents. Proposals for places that have non-viable areas are allowed to exclude parts of the area and/or include neighbouring areas.
A Local Fibre Co may provide:
- Any Layer 1 Service in addition to the Specified Layer 1 Service (physical optics); and
- Any Layer 2 Service (electronic network traffic), but only where CFH consents and the Specified Layer 2 Service is to be provided by the LFC.
Specified Layer 1 Service
- Uncontended 100Mbps on a single strand past each subscriber in the area within 10 years, and to greenfield developments and priority users within 6 years (including schools, healthcare and bandwidth concentrations eg cell sites).
- Backhaul to "Points of Interconnect" within the area is also included for government funding.
- Government contributions are averaged by Cost Per Premises Passed and Cost Per Premises Connected.
- Being an open network, Access Seekers such as ISPs must be allowed to provide their own Layer 2 access nodes and backhaul at the CO cabinet.
- Demarcs for the Specified Service are the optical terminations (ie plugs) at the subscriber premises and on the Access Seeker's CO equipment.
- Fibre Cos might propose 100Base-BX Ethernet as the Specified Layer 2 Service, allowing Access Seekers to innovate with alternative services. Some may also provide CATV signals like FreeView on the 1550nm wavelength to add value and save backhaul traffic.
I can't find any minimum backhaul contention, so providers will hopefully try to differentiate their offerings. The government also expects Local Fibre Co and Access Seekers to innovate for different requirements of each type of customer. For example, critical user networks might need faster links, geographic diversity and/or point-to-point links. I'm not sure if Access Seekers have to provide the Specified Layer 2 Service, but will be interesting to see what else they offer.
It looks pretty open on who is allowed to become an access seeker, so user groups could sign up to provide private networks to their own members.
- Does anyone have some ideas about whether 100Mbps service will be attractive to households? What price would people be willing to pay for it?
- How much speed would be enough for you? What performance would you expect for international traffic if you got connected?
- Whats a fair install fee to join up? What freebies would make it worthwhile?
- What would it take to convince landlords to approve the connection?
- What extra services would you expect? Would you have a good enough TV if the new ONT came with a coax TV outlet?
- If you got disconnected for copyright infringement, would you reconnect with another provider?
- What sort of home business opportunities could you see becoming attractive with fast internet at your place?
- If your office had a faster connection at the right price, would you invest more into offsite backup, ecommerce or any other applications? Whats the "next big thing"?
- And will there be a serious shortage of fibre contractors??