TUANZ welcomes news of initial UFB contracts, and waits expectantly for further updates on national recommendations
TUANZ is hopeful that today’s ultra fast broadband announcement from Communications Minister Steven Joyce will be closely followed by further recommendations on partners for the remaining areas of New Zealand.
In the announcement made earlier this morning Minister Joyce confirmed agreements with Northpower and UltraFast Fibre, a subsidiary of WEL Networks to deliver ultra fast broadband services to around 16% of premises.
TUANZ Chairman Pat O’Connell commented “We are pleased an initial partnership commitment has now been made. New Zealand’s ultra fast future is now being written and we congratulate Minister Joyce and Crown Fibre Holdings on reaching agreements with these parties. It looks like we will have fibre in the ground before Christmas”.
TUANZ now wishes to hear more of progress on recommendations for the remainder of the UFB rollout. O’Connell notes “TUANZ remains concerned at the pace with which the remaining contracts are being issued. With the Telecommunications Amendment Bill due to go before parliament tomorrow, it looks likely that the deadlines for the rollout to the rest of the country will be missed. This is troubling despite New Zealand overtaking Australia in terms of broadband penetration*. Now is not the time to take our eye off the ball.”
The big news of today centres on pricing announcements. In recently released research from TUANZ and Crown Fibre Holdings 81% of respondents wanted more information on pricing with pricing also being perceived as a barrier to uptake by more than 85%. “Today’s initial wholesale price indicators should alleviate some of those concerns”, said O’Connell. “Pricing appears to be set a level that will drive uptake, for household, business and school users and we’re hopeful that this pricing will be reflected nationwide when further announcements are made”.
“Crown Fibre has indicated that business products will be priced considerably below existing dark fibre where this is available and premium layer 2 services such as 1 Gigabit per second will also be competitively priced; around $600 or less, about half the current minimum price. This is good news for the New Zealand business community.”