According to Stuff.co.nz, Chorus, Telecom New Zealand’s network infrastructure arm, has commenced work on the rollout of the state-backed Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative, with an initial network deployment in the Auckland suburb of Albany. Communications and information technology minister Steven Joyce indicated that around 17,000 premises in Auckland will be connected to the high speed fibre-optic network over the next twelve months. In May 2011 Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH), the government agency in charge of managing the UFB initiative, confirmed that it had awarded contracts covering 24 urban areas (including Auckland and Wellington) to Telecom. Joyce commented: ‘The first year of the Ultra Fast Broadband network will see fibre rollout to more than 50,000 homes around the country as well as to schools, hospitals and businesses’.
Last month Joyce announced that its first stretch of fibre-optic cable had been deployed by Ultra Fast Broadband Limited (UBL, formerly known as the Central North Island Fibre Consortium and Ultra Fast Fibre) in Hamilton, marking the commencement of the government’s NZD1.5 billion (USD1.24 billion) scheme. UBL was contracted to roll out fibre-optic infrastructure to around 163,000 premises in Hamilton, Tauranga, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Hawera and Tokoroa.