Chorus Limited

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Chorus NZ Ltd
Public company
Traded as NZX: CNU
Industry Communications
Founded 2011
Headquarters Wellington, New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand
Key people
Mark Ratcliffe (CEO)
Products Telecommunications, fibre optic infrastructure
Website Chorus

Chorus is a provider of telecommunications infrastructure throughout New Zealand. It is listed on the NZX stock exchange and is in the NZX 50 Index. It is the owner of the majority of telephone lines and exchange equipment in New Zealand. By law, it cannot sell directly to consumers, instead it provides wholesale services to retailers.

The company was spun off from Telecom New Zealand in 2011, as a condition of winning the majority of the contracts for the Government's Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative.[1]

In April 2013 it signed contracts with Visionstream and Downer worth NZ$1 billion to build its part of New Zealand's ultrafast broadband network, after receiving a government subsidy of $929 million.[2] Early in 2014 Transfield Services signed agreements to help build the ultrafast broadband network.[3]



Most of the telephone infrastructure in New Zealand is owned by Chorus. As of January 2014, Chorus can provide ADSL service to 97.3% and VDSL2 (up to 70/10 Mbit/s) service to 62.4% of its copper phone lines.

Contrary to the usual practice overseas, most connections are at full speed, instead plans differ in the amount of data included.[4] As DSL is sensitive to distance, the closer the customer is to the equipment, the faster the connections. Chorus has implemented a fibre-to-the-node (also known as "cabinetisation") project to bring the equipment closer to the user, so 91% of the lines are able to access an ADSL2+ connection of 10Mbit/s or more.[5][6]

The copper loop is unbundled, so operators like Vodafone, Orcon and Callplus/Slingshot can install their own equipment at telephone exchanges and just rent the copper line from Chorus. As of December 2013, 130,000 (7%) lines are unbundled.[7]


Chorus is responsible for installing most of the government's Ultra-Fast Broadband fibre.


Telecom created Chorus as a separate business unit in 2008. In 2011, Chorus won most of the contracts for the UFB fibre network. A condition of the contracts is that Chorus be demerged into a separate company. This was recommended unanimously by the Telecom board of directors and approved by 99.8% of Telecom shareholders. On December 1, 2011, Chorus was formally separated from Telecom and listed on NZX. Chorus got Telecom's copper lines, cabinets, most telephone exchange buildings, DSLAMs and some fibre backhaul. Telecom retained the relationship with retail customers, the POTS telephone exchange equipment, some fibre backhaul, the shares in Southern Cross cable and the XT mobile network.


  1. ^ Steve Hart (6 November 2012). "Businesses looking keen to join the fibre revolution". New Zealand Herald. 
  2. ^ "Chorus signs $1b broadband deals". 3 News NZ. April 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Transfield wins $88 mln Chorus contracts after protracted negotiations". February 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ "International Price Comparison for Retail Fixed-line Telecommunications Services 2013". Commerce Commission. 23 December 2013. ISBN 978-1-869453-48-0. 
  5. ^ "Broadband Technology". Chorus. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Benchmarking Broadband". Chorus. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Chorus Interim FY14 Results". Chorus. 28 February 2014. 

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