Telecom NZ secures UFB contract, but has to separate retail/wholesale businesses

Telecom New Zealand and Enable Networks are the latest service providers to be invited to the New Zealand government's Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) network party, an ambitious initiative aimed with bringing fiber-based broadband to about 75 percent of the country's residents and businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement, Telecom New Zealand via its Chorus wholesale arm will provide fiber-based services to 24 urban areas, while Enable Networks will provide services to Christchurch, Rolleston and Raniora.

With these two recent network awards now complete, all of the UFB candidate areas have been fulfilled by Crown Fibre Holdings, the operator of the UFB.

Besides Telecom New Zealand Chorus, which won about 64.9 percent of the contracts, the other 30.6 percent have been awarded to Enable in addition to CFH's existing partners, including WEL Networks (also known as the Central North Island Fibre Consortium and Ultra Fast Fibre) and Northpower Limited, for the areas of Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Hawera and Tokoroa (WEL) and Whangarei (Northpower).

To participate as a network partner in the UFB, Telecom New Zealand has agreed to split up its network business unit, Chorus, and its retail operations into two separate functional units.

As part of this new structure, Telecom New Zealand Chorus will operate as an open access wireline wholesale provider, while Telecom will continue to offer traditional retail wireline and wireless services to residential and business customers. After gaining necessary stakeholder approvals and legislative change, Telecom New Zealand will demerge Chorus by the end of 2011.     

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
New Zealand awards initial broadband plan contractors
New Zealand government to study Telecom New Zealand's breakup proposal
New Zealand's Crown Fiber whittles down fiber provider candidates for broadband plan
Telecom New Zealand advances AAPT fiber network, considers demerger

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