NZ's ultra-fast broadband fibre rollout beats annual target

New Zealand's fibre to the premises and building rollout has beat its June target for premises passed by the fibre network.

A total of 26 percent of New Zealand residents now have access to fibre broadband in the country, as the company prepares to ramp up its national broadband project

According to the government-owned Crown Fibre Holdings' annual report (PDF), as of the end of June this year, the company had beat its target of 389,000 homes, apartment blocks, and businesses to be passed by the fibre network, with 420,000 premises passed representing a total 517,000 end users.

Crown, which has rolled out the fibre network in New Zealand in partnership with Chorus, Northpower, Ultrafast, and Enable, was also able to complete the fibre network entirely in the city of Whangarei with Northpower in the last financial year.

In Whangarei, where the fibre was deployed in part overhead instead of in the ground, Northpower was able to save costs and time in rolling out the fibre by developing a weatherproof platform for workers to splice the fibre while in mid-air.

The company boasted that the efforts to finish the network in Whangarei have made the city the first in the Australasian region to have every end user able to connect on fibre.

There were 39,510 customers connected as of the end of the financial year, and 77 percent of businesses and 93 percent of schools in the country were now able to connect to the fibre network.

Around 85 percent of the time, customers were able to connect to the service within four busness days, while for businesses, 77 percent of the time they were able to be connected within six business days.

The net loss for the company for the year was NZ$5.2 million, with a cumulative net loss of NZ$165 million, on the back of funding Chorus and LFCs to construct the network out to 191,000 premises for NZ$220.5 million.

Crown Fibre Holdings chair Simon Allen and CEO Graham Mitchell said that the goal for the company in the 2015 financial year will be to get the fibre network 47 percent complete, past 550,000 premises, and able to service 647,000 end users.

In that time, the pair said, the network was expected to be completed in a number of cities.

It comes as legacy copper network operator Chorus lost a court battle against the New Zealand Commerce Commission over its reduction in pricing of the company's regulated broadband services.