Telecom New Zealand considers network spinoff to participate in broadband initiative

The New Zealand government has developed an ambitious broadband network plan and incumbent carrier Telecom New Zealand wants a piece of the action. However, the government said that service providers that run networks won't be allowed to participate in the planned Ultra Fast Broadband Initiative, a national public-private national fiber network.

Fearing that it would be left behind competing providers such as Canada's Axia NetMedia Corp., which has placed a bond to submit a proposal in Australia's National Broadband Network, Telecom New Zealand is thinking how it could structurally separate the company so it could participate in proposed network. Similar to proposals floated between the Australian government and incumbent provider Telstra for its own National Broadband plan, one possible scenario is that Telecom New Zealand's own network could serve as a foundation for the government's plan.

At this point, Telecom New Zealand's CEO Paul Reynolds said that the service provider is looking at all options, including structural separation, as an entry point to take part in the government's $2 billion Fiber to the X (FTTX) project. "We are looking at it amongst other options, precisely what shape it would take, what the work up structures would be, what assets would be included, what products; are all the things that are under internal discussion and indeed are being discussed," said Reynolds in a statement.

According to a Reuters report, the New Zealand government will announce its final candidates to build the regional network in the next few weeks followed by final awards in Q3.

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article
- Reuters has this article

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