Ultra-Fast Broadband

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The Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative is a New Zealand Government program of building fibre-to-the-home networks covering 80% of the population by 2022. It is a public–private partnership of the government with four companies with total government investment of NZ$1.7 billion.[1]

Targets[edit]

The Ultra-Fast Broadband project plans to provide speeds of at least 100Mbit/s downstream and 50Mbit/s upstream, though upgradable to 10 times that speed.

It aims to have optical fibre available to all schools and public hospitals, most private health facilities and most businesses by 2015. Urban and suburban residential areas have fibre deployed gradually, with new development areas being a high priority.

Initially, the plan was to have fibre within reach of 75% of the population by 2019 with an investment of $1.35 billion. In 2014, the government announced an increased funding of $152m to $210m, the target was expanded to 80%, and the finish date pushed out to 2022.[2]

Partner companies[edit]

Crown Fibre Holdings Limited (CFH) is a Crown-owned company set up to manage the project. CFH has contracted four companies to deploy fibre network.[3]

The main partner is Chorus, which won 70% of the roll out area. Chorus was part of incumbent telco Telecom but was split off into a separate company in order to participate in this project. CFH will invest NZ$929 million directly in Chorus with 50% being non-voting shares and 50% interest free loans.[4]

There are also three Local Fibre Companies (LFC). These are 50% owned by Crown Fibre and 50% by the local electricity lines company or local government. They are:

The government aims to collect all the investment back in 2036. Due to the loan being interest free, the government expect this to cost $600m in opportunity cost.[6]

Technology[edit]

The technology used is gigabit-capable passive optical network (GPON) for residential customers, and point to point for large businesses. Dark fibre is also available.

Chorus or the LFCs wholesale services to ISPs, who in turn offer services to their customers. There are 89 retail providers offering UFB services.[7]

The contract between CFH and the fibre network companies specifies that there are to be wholesale residential plans of 30Mbit/s download with 10Mbit/s upload and 100Mbit/s download with 50Mbit/s upload.

The fibre network companies also offer other residential plans. The LFCs and Chorus in Dunedin offer a gigabit residential service of 1Gbit/s download and 500Mbit/s upload.[8] Chorus offers residential plans of up to 200Mbit/s symmetrical in its other cities. Business gigabit services are available in all UFB areas. As of February 2015, unlimited UFB plans start from $79.[9]

Customers must arrange the final connection to the UFB network with their ISP, who in turn arranges connection with the relevant fibre network company. The fibre network company then installs the fibre lead-in from the street to the customer's premises, the external termination point (ETP) and the optical network terminal (ONT). If the fibre lead-in needs to travel along shared rights of way or through cross-lease land, all affected neighbours must consent to the installation. The standard ONT provides four gigabit Ethernet ports and two ATA phone ports. It is also possible to have ONTs that provide WiFi, or radio over fiber.

For each area an ISP wishes to serve, it needs to put in a handover point and organize a backhaul link back to its core network. (There are 33 points of interconnect (POIs), one for each UFB candidate area.) Therefore, only a few ISPs offer nationwide UFB services, and the majority only focus in a few areas. This is different to DSL, where Chorus can deliver all of an ISP's customers nationwide to a single handover point, so ISPs can easily offer nationwide DSL service.[10]

Progress[edit]

The initial UFB project consists of 33 areas. As of December 2015, the project is 60% complete, with fibre available to 875,207 households and businesses, of which 162,913 have connected.[7]

UFB area Provider Premises able
to connect
Premises
connected
Completed/Planned[11]
Northland Northpower 21,500 20% 8 May 2014[12]
Auckland Chorus 361,200 17% 2019
Waiheke Island Chorus 5,000 0.2% 2017
Pukekohe Chorus 6,800 5% 2018
Waiuku Chorus 3,100 8% 19 May 2016[13]
Hamilton UFF 55,200 14% 7 April 2016[14]
Cambridge UFF 8,000 12% 13 February 2015[15]
Te Awamutu UFF 6,000 12% 3 October 2014[16]
Tauranga UFF 45,500 17% 11 March 2016[17]
Rotorua Chorus 23,000 14% 17 June 2016[18]
Tokoroa UFF 5,500 9% 13 February 2015[15]
Taupo Chorus 13,000 6% 15 May 2015[19]
Whakatane Chorus 5,500 8% 2017
Gisborne Chorus 12,300 6% 2019
New Plymouth UFF 20,600 11% 19 February 2016[20]
Napier-Hastings Chorus 40,900 15% 2019
Hawera UFF 5,000 8% 13 February 2015[15]
Whanganui UFF 18,500 9% 18 April 2015[21]
Palmerston North Chorus 27,900 17% 2019
Feilding Chorus 5,600 6% 2018
Masterton Chorus 8,500 11% 3 December 2015[22]
Kapiti Chorus 16,400 3% 2019
Levin Chorus 7,100 5% 2019
Wellington Chorus 126,200 14% 2019
Nelson Chorus 23,500 11% 2019
Blenheim Chorus 12,500 19% 20 March 2015[23]
Greymouth Chorus 3,500 5% 26 November 2015[24]
Christchurch Enable 140,900 16% 2019
Ashburton Chorus 9,000 14% 13 March 2015[25]
Timaru Chorus 14,000 16% 30 April 2015[26]
Oamaru Chorus 6,000 11% 15 December 2014[27]
Dunedin Chorus 44,500 16% 2019
Queenstown Chorus 6,000 9% 29 July 2016 [28]
Invercargill Chorus 19,700 12% 2019

History[edit]

The UFB project started as part of the National Party's 2008 election promise of an Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative.[29][30]

Initially, the Ultra-Fast Broadband network would not be subject to the regulations placed on other telecommunications companies by the Commerce Commission until 2020. After protests by telecommunications companies, consumer groups and opposition parties,[31] the government allowed Crown Fibre Holdings to be regulated by the Commerce Commission.[32] However, the government agreed to pay compensation to the partner companies if they lose money as a result of Commerce Commission regulation.[33]

In 2015, the Government released a discussion document which sought views on how prices for UFB services should be set after 2019.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fast broadband New Zealand's internet upgrade". MBIE. 11 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (4 September 2014). "National lines up 35 more towns for UFB". Waikato Times. Stuff. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Crown Partners". Crown Fibre Holdings. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Fletcher, Hamish (25 May 2011). "Green light for two Telecoms". New Zealand Herald. 
  5. ^ Harvie, Will (2 July 2016). "The underground anchor project". The Press. pp. C1–C2. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (24 May 2011). "$600 million UFB's 'true cost'". The Dominion Post. Stuff. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Deployment progress". Ministry of Economic Development. 15 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (19 August 2016). "Top internet speeds to get five times faster". Stuff. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  9. ^ Bennett, Bill (4 Feb 2015). "Unlimited fibre broadband plans compared". Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Ritchie, Brendan (11 December 2012). "Why No Aggregated National Port Option From UFB/NBN?". DTS Limited. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  11. ^ CFH Statement of Intent July 2014 – June 2018 (PDF). June 2014. p. 14. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Dinsdale, Mike (9 May 2014). "Speeding ahead as first ultra-fast city". Northern Advocate. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  13. ^ Barker, Sara (19 May 2016). "Waiuku 17th New Zealand town to get ultra fast broadband". IT Brief NZ. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  14. ^ Adams, Amy (7 April 2016). "Faster broadband for Hamilton". Beehive.govt.nz. New Zealand Government. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c "Ultrafast Fibre connects three more towns". Crown Fibre. 13 Feb 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Te Awamutu high-speed broadband rollout completed". Ultrafast Fibre Ltd. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Adams, Amy. "Tauranga fully-fibred and raring to go". beehive.govt.nz. NZ Government. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  18. ^ Porter, David (17 June 2016). "Rotorua's broadband rollout complete". Rotorua Daily Post. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "Taupo's ultra fast network complete". Rotorua Daily Post. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  20. ^ Adams, Amy (19 February 2016). "New Plymouth fully connected to Ultra-Fast Broadband". beehive.govt.nz. NZ Government. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  21. ^ Wilson, Zaryd (20 April 2015). "Fibre to boost network speed". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  22. ^ Fuller, Piers (3 December 2015). "Amy Adams announces full UFB fibre rollout for Masterton". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  23. ^ Hill, Helen (20 March 2015). "Blenheim homes all able to access UFB". The Marlborough Express. Stuff. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Adams, Amy (26 November 2015). "Greymouth joins ranks of fully-fibred towns" (Press release). New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  25. ^ "Chorus completes UFB rollout in Ashburton". Crown Fibre. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  26. ^ Malone, Audrey (30 April 2015). "Ultra fast broadband rollout in Timaru complete". The Timaru Herald. Stuff. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  27. ^ Bruce, David (16 Dec 2015). "Urged to take up benefits of UFB". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  28. ^ Adams, Amy (29 Jul 2016). "Queenstown UFB rollout now complete" (Press release). New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  29. ^ "Crown Fibre Holdings". MED. 9 September 2010. 
  30. ^ Joyce, Steven (29 October 2009). "Crown Fibre Holdings Board appointments" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 
  31. ^ "Eleven telcos, consumer groups unite against Crown Fibre bill". National Business Review. 11 April 2011. 
  32. ^ Joyce, Steven (18 May 2011). "Regulatory forbearance to be replaced" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 
  33. ^ Bennett, Adam (18 May 2011). "Joyce scraps regulatory holiday from broadband bill". New Zealand Herald. 
  34. ^ "Review of the Telecommunications Act 2001". Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 

External links[edit]

Builders of the UFB network