Chorus kick starts Kiwi broadband roll-out

Chorus, the Telecom New Zealand-owned entity, which won 70 per cent of the country's $1.5 billion ultra-fast broadband (UFB) initiative, today announced details of its roll-out.

Chorus, the Telecom New Zealand-owned entity, which won 70 per cent of the country's $1.5 billion ultra-fast broadband (UFB) initiative, today announced details of its roll-out.

The company, which is due to split from Telecom later this year, is set to roll out fibre to 800,000 homes, schools, hospitals and businesses across New Zealand.

In addition to Auckland, where today's announcement was made, Chorus also hopes to have deployed fibre-optic cables in Ashburton, Blenheim, Dunedin, Masterton, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington by the year's end.

Wellington is also expected to rapidly benefit from UFB, according to plans that Chorus released separately.

UFB deployment plans for Feilding, Gisborne, Greymouth, Invercargill, Kapiti, Levin, Nelson, Oamaru, Pukekohe, Queenstown, Timaru, Waiheke Island, Waiuku and Whakatane are still being developed.

In line with government policy, priority would be given to schools, hospitals and businesses, said a company statement.

"By July next year, we'll have run the new network past more than 43,000 homes and businesses across the country, and offered some 200 schools a fibre connection," said Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe.

Chorus aims to have three quarters of New Zealanders with fibre to their door by the end of 2019.

The company also launched an online map that outlines its UFB candidate areas, the first-year deployment plans and its business fibre area (available on www.chorus.co.nz) to allow people to check the roll-out progress.

Today's move follows a similar announcement in Tauranga yesterday, involving local company UltraFast Broadband Ltd, a joint venture between the government entity Crown Fibre Holdings and WEL Networks, a power company.

Similar announcements were also made for Wanganui earlier this month and in Hamilton in July.

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