Telecom NZ proposes NBN collaboration

28 Apr 2009

New Zealand’s leading fixed line and broadband operator Telecom New Zealand has handed the government two proposals to combine its existing fibre-based broadband network with the government’s planned national broadband network (NBN). As reported by CommsUpdate on 31 March, the government has pledged NZD1.5 billion (USD849.9 million) to bring high speed fibre-based internet to at least 75% of the country’s population through the proposed NBN. In its proposals Telecom has said that instead of deploying a new network, the government should invest in the country’s existing infrastructure. ‘Telecom’s proposals are a combination of building on the 23,500km of fibre optic cable already in the ground and integrating the government’s USD1.5 billion investment with Telecom’s existing plans to extend the reach of fibre to more and more New Zealanders,’ said Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds.

The proposals have faced criticism from the Regional Fibre Group (RFG), a consortium of nine power-line companies and fibre specialists. RFG’s CEO, Simon MacKenzie said, ‘The key missing feature [of Telecom’s submission] is that it makes no mention of an accelerated timetable for connecting business. Fibre-to-business is essential to the government’s aspirational goal of a achieving a step-change in New Zealand’s international competitiveness.’