Chorus taps Australia's UCG for broadband build

Queensland-based specialist Universal Communications Group to manage complex Ultrafast Broadband connections to apartment buildings in New Zealand.

New Zealand network operator Chorus is "bringing in the experts" to manage the rollout of Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) to terraced houses and apartment blocks and offices in Auckland and Wellington.

Chorus has appointed Queensland-based Universal Communications Group (UCG) to deliver high-volume, telecommunications deployments using a variety of technologies in a 10 year non-exclusive deal.

Other service companies in Auckland and Wellington have been delivering multi-dwelling unit installations under an interim service agreement since the beginning of this year, Chorus says. They will now focus on other UFB work.

“Wiring multi-dwelling units requires specialist skills and expertise that don’t necessarily go hand in hand with general provisioning and build services,” says Ed Beattie, general manager of infrastructure at Chorus.

“UCG has a very good reputation for delivery and cost in Australia and is generally regarded as the best performer and industry leader for connecting multi-dwelling units.”

UCG is expected to recruit up to 150 local staff over the next three years across Auckland and Wellington and between 200 and 300 subcontractors, subject to demand. It will complete the work under capped pricing, subject to review after six months or the connection of 1,000 multi-dwelling units.

Chorus says there are approximately 37,000 multi-dwelling units and terraced premises in Auckland and Wellington, housing around 130,000 end users.

The New Zealand government is part funding the UFB rollout to the tune of $1.5 billion.