Spark brings fast fibre installation program to Christchurch

Spark's 'street in a week' fibre upgrade program is coming to Christchurch this week, with 180 premises to be offered fast upgrades from copper to fibre broadband services.

New Zealand telecommunications provider Spark has announced that it will be bringing its "street in a week" fibre installation program to Christchurch in partnership with local fibre company Enable.

The trial between the two telcos, beginning this week, will involve 180 premises being offered a fibre upgrade from their legacy copper service.

The upgrades will be offered throughout parts of Avonhead, Burnside, Riccarton, Russley, and Sockburn this week, followed by trials in parts of Shirley, Richmond, St Albans, Papanui, and Dallington.

Spark had previously partnered with Chorus in December on a week-long trial of its street in a week fibre installation program in Whakatane, where 400 premises were offered a fibre upgrade from their legacy copper service.

"By concentrating teams and resources within a small geographic area for the week of the trial, Chorus will be able to deliver an accelerated installation process as teams work collaboratively," Spark said at the time.

"The customer should only need to be at home for one day."

Spark announced the upgrade program in November, with the plan to provide Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) fibre upgrades street by street on a faster, more reliable basis. Spark and Ultrafast Fibre have already conducted a pilot of the program in Hamilton.

The program was introduced in response to the sector being plagued with complaints about delays in connecting fibre broadband services. Through the program, customers will be able to select a specific day within a specified week to have their fibre broadband service installed. This will remove the middleman local fibre companies (LFCs), with customers no longer having to enter a queue to be served by these LFCs after placing an order with their retail service provider.

"The current process involves a great deal of 'to-ing and fro-ing' between the customer, their service provider, the fibre company, and the contracting technicians who actually carry out the installation," Spark said at the beginning of November.

"It can take several weeks or longer for installations to take place."