The New Zealand government has confirmed that Communications Minister Steven Joyce has approved deeds of undertaking provided by companies participating in the dual rollout of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI). The deeds set out ‘open access’ requirements for both networks, with additional clauses relating to Telecom New Zealand’s copper network, following the successful completion of its impending structural separation.
Previously, Joyce had declined to approve the draft deed submitted by Telecom – on behalf of network arm Chorus – in relation to the legacy network. The new copper deed has been modified to reflect the minister’s feedback. Comparable changes have also been incorporated in the other new deeds submitted by Telecom, Vodafone New Zealand and local fibre companies Enable Networks, Northpower Limited (also known as Whangarei Local Fibre Company) and Ultra Fast Fibre (previously Central North Island Fibre Consortium). Joyce declared that a robust open access environment is vital to the success of faster broadband in New Zealand, commenting: ‘These deeds will encourage a competitive marketplace for faster broadband services’. Copies of the deeds are now available on the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) website, as well as on the respective websites of each local fibre company and RBI partner.