Vodafone New Zealand and Axia NetMedia Corporation, a Canadian fibre-optic network operator, have formed an alliance to deliver a solution to the New Zealand government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative (UFB). The government has committed to spending NZD1.5 billion (USD1.07 billion) to help the country establish a world class ultra-fast broadband network. Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners says the alliance with Axia will enable Vodafone to not only take part in the UFB project as a retail provider, but also help invest in the future of New Zealand. ‘Mobile companies are one of the biggest users of fibre in the world – we need it to connect our cellsites together. But for Vodafone it doesn’t stop there – we want to help New Zealand build on the promise of ultra-fast broadband. We will work with Axia and hopefully with the government to deliver to New Zealanders the infrastructure to take us to the next economic level.’
Axia has built similar Next Generation Networks (NGN) in Canada, France and Singapore. Its NGN model combines state-of-the-art technical fibre architecture with flexible commercial, governance and regulatory frameworks that has allowed it to create a NGN solution specifically tailored for New Zealand. ‘We are excited about helping New Zealanders achieve the optimal UFB outcome, one that puts the end users and the country first and is future-proofed both in technology and industry structure. The challenge is multidimensional and requires proper consideration of public policy, pricing of services, technology and creating the right regulation and competitive tension. The government of New Zealand has set a policy framework that can achieve the desired outcomes,’ said Axia chairman and CEO Art Price.