According to international research firm IDATE, the number of New Zealand households passed by the fibre-to-the-premises rollout has well exceeded its annual targets.
The ultra-fast broadband rollout is managed by Crown Fibre Holdings, a government-owned company. The number of connections added in the final quarter came close to tripling those during the same period in 2013.
The deployment goal of 389,000 premises was passed ahead of time. By 30 June, more than 420,000 premises represented 517,000 end users (households, schools and businesses) able to connect, due to a strong effort by all Partners.
The completed coverage of Whangarei by Northpower Fibre Limited (NFL) made that city the first in Australasia in which every end-user can connect to fibre optic broadband. Waikato Networks Limited (WNL) tracked consistently above target all year. Enable Services Limited (ESL) advanced deployment in Christchurch, completing coverage in the satellite towns of Rolleston and Lincoln and commencing the build in Rangiora. CFH’s largest Partner, Chorus, also exceeded its deployment targets, completing the coverage of most of Auckland’s challenging central business district.
Partners continued their focus on priority users, in line with the Government’s policy objective to ensure UFB access for all urban schools and hospitals, and at least 90% of businesses by the end of 2015. The percentage of schools able to connect increased from 68% to 93% during the course of the year.
The principal goal for this coming year will be to maintain the strong pace of deployment, with a particular focus on significantly advancing the rollout to priority users. By 30 June 2015, CFH expects some 47% of the initiative to be completed, with UFB delivered past 550,000 premises, allowing around 647,000 end users to connect.
During this period, Chorus and WNL are expected to complete the UFB build in several towns and cities. CFH forecasts that by December 2015, 90% of businesses, and all schools and public hospitals within the initiative will be able to receive UFB in line with the policy objective.