​Will fibre unbundling unlock the full potential of the UFB network?

“The Government, on behalf of all New Zealanders, has made a huge bet on fibre through UFB, with the full economic benefits set to tally into the tens of billions."

Vodafone has welcomed the confirmation that the promise to open fibre networks to increased competition will remain as a key feature of the New Zealand communications market in 2020.

According to Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners, the Government’s decision to retain the existing unbundling requirements will allow the country to “unlock the full potential” of the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) Initiative in the coming years.

“The Government, on behalf of all New Zealanders, has made a huge bet on fibre through UFB, with the full economic benefits set to tally into the tens of billions,” Stanners adds.

“Fibre unbundling goes to the very heart of this. Access to the underlying fibre infrastructure is essential for driving innovation, investment and competitive pricing for Kiwi consumers.

“We’ve looked at countries, like Singapore, where fibre unbundling is well-established. In those markets, it’s clear that unbundling is driving a new wave of investment and innovation that is driving uptake and economic growth.”

Following the review, Chorus also welcomes the Government’s announcement on a series of high-level policy decisions on the future of regulation in the telecommunications sector.

“New Zealanders are known for being early adopters of new technology, and we’re seeing that again with uptake of fibre broadband services,” adds Mark Ratcliffe, CEO, Chorus.

“New Zealanders are leveraging better broadband to enhance their social wellbeing and business success as an essential utility - much like electricity, water and gas. This announcement by the Government effectively recognises broadband as the fourth utility.”

In addition, the Government has indicated that there will be further consultation on detailed design and implementation issues later this year.

“There is a range of detail, transitional and other policy choices to work through and we look forward to early engagement on this,” Ratcliffe adds.

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