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Topic # 164285 4-Feb-2015 10:53
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Spark New Zealand announces joint venture with Vocus Communications to help deliver New Zealand’s fibre future

Spark New Zealand has announced it will form a fibre construction joint venture with Vocus Communications called Connect 8 to further safeguard New Zealand’s fibre future.

The move confirms Spark’s commitment to being the leader in data network capability and data services for New Zealanders. It comes at a time when the telecommunications market is rapidly changing. Both business and consumer customers are increasingly demanding faster speeds with better resiliency in response to an increased demand for digital services.

David Havercroft, Chief Operating Officer for Spark New Zealand, says the joint venture puts Spark in an even better position to help New Zealand businesses navigate a digital future in which fibre will become increasingly important. Customers have the assurance that Spark New Zealand can deliver fibre to them in a range of different ways and with greater flexibility.

“Spark New Zealand already has 8000 kilometres of fibre cable in New Zealand. This, paired with the Optical Transmission Network (OTN) - the core data transport network - connects more cities, exchanges and data centres than any other network provider in the country.”

“Spark New Zealand is investing hundreds of millions of dollars every year to provide customers with better services, strengthening and expanding our integrated network, including the rolling out of world-class 4G services using more of the latest 700 MHz spectrum than any other provider,” adds Havercroft.

“We’ve now got New Zealand’s leading data network integrating 3G, 4G, WiFi, ADSL, VDSL and Fibre, backed up by a nationwide optical transport network and a growing number of data centres- all of which is underpinning excellent connectivity and capability for business customers.”

Chief Executive of Spark Digital, Tim Miles, says that Connect 8 will benefit the business division of the company as it continues to reposition its focus to Cloud Infrastructure, mobility, managed ICT and platform-as-a-service.

“We know that the potential benefits of fibre are still largely untapped by New Zealand businesses, and that flexibility of construction and delivery can be one of the challenges in making the most of that opportunity.

“The joint venture will allow Spark Digital to add Vocus Communications leadership and construction capability to our network delivery options. It also gives us more flexibility, supplier-capacity, and control over delivery time frames - therefore enabling more businesses to get on with unleashing their digital potential.”

Under the joint venture agreement, Spark New Zealand will acquire 50% of the Vocus Communications construction business. Connect 8 will continue to construct fibre and telecommunications assets for Vocus Communications, Spark New Zealand and other telecommunication providers in New Zealand. Vocus Communications and Spark New Zealand will be equally represented on the Connect 8 board and receive equal distributions of profits.




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  Reply # 1231171 4-Feb-2015 15:31
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That will be some serious competition for the UFB2.0 towns.
I wonder if those extra towns will be tendered for, or if they are just going to be extensions of the existing LFC in that region?




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  Reply # 1231214 4-Feb-2015 16:22
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I've read this press release several times, and remain confused.
Lots of hype, but very little substance.
Will this mean that fibre will be run out faster, or to different areas, or at a lower price?
(Fibre isn't due in our street until late 2019)




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  Reply # 1231286 4-Feb-2015 18:00
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Sideface: I've read this press release several times, and remain confused.
Lots of hype, but very little substance.
Will this mean that fibre will be run out faster, or to different areas, or at a lower price?
(Fibre isn't due in our street until late 2019)


It is a strange press release.
From what I can figure out the network design/build depts of Spark and Vocus are going to work together, presumably on intercity fibre and fibre to rural cell towers.

The only reason I can think of that two competitors are choosing to work together is to prevent competition. Competitors in this space are now just Vodafone and Chorus (IE from 4 to 3).
FX was bought by Vocus last year, so as far as this press release is concerned this is a joint-venture between what was FX Networks and Spark.

As far as UFB goes, this has no direct impact for consumers. 

For ISPs wanting to get their UFB "Gigatown" Dunedin customers back-hauled to Auckland, it remains to be seen if this JV helps or hinders with price.








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  Reply # 1231334 4-Feb-2015 19:25
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I think it's just putting a name "Connect 8" to the capacity sharing agreement between what was FX Networks and Telecom NZ national fibre backbone. 

It should be noted Spark have increasingly worked with Vocus since the off-load of AAPT to TPG. I believe Spark now use Vocus' datacentres and fibre in Sydney so this announcement on the NZ side is only one part of the picture. There was a thread a few months back regarding Telecom who exchanged their SMW3 Perth-Singapore capacity with Vocus. FX Networks and Telecom have in the past also worked on regional peering between their backbones.


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  Reply # 1231368 4-Feb-2015 20:28
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I see this as a "business grade service" decision rather than anything retail focused for "end" customers. So using the Spark fibre backbone for more business customers to hook into for smaller ISPs and large companies that want a high speed nationwide "Private LAN"





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  Reply # 1231417 4-Feb-2015 22:48
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Looks to me like they want to work together to reduce competition.

And seriously that is one of the most ridiculous press releases that I think I have read. Wow we are Spark and we are so awesome, look at so many awesome things we do - oh and yea on the side is this small thing which is actually why we can make a press release.





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  Reply # 1231452 4-Feb-2015 23:44
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First time I ever heard Spark was a Platform as a Service vendor.

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