CFH canvasses potential UFB users

Survey to determine impact of govt fibre broadband plan on business users

Crown Fibre Holdings, in cooperation with TUANZ, has issued a survey to judge likely demand from businesses for ultrafast broadband (UFB) services, as well as obstacles to their use in the eyes of telecommunications users.

The objective of the survey, CFH says, is “to engage with potential end users of UFB and to compile data from business users in New Zealand”.

After canvassing basic information about users’ businesses, the survey asks how much impact the respondent thinks UFB availability will have on various functions within their business, such as manufacturing and marketing.

Respondents are asked how they see broadband being used – for example for server consolidation, desktop virtualisation, cloud computing, collaborative working or working from remote sites.

When Computerworld suggested such questions might be expected to come from service providers operating at higher levels of the telecommunications stack than the Layer 1 and 2 services for which CFH is directly responsible, a CFH spokesman replied that the organisation is vitally interested in the end use of the fibre links.

“As well as selecting partners in the creation of Local Fibre Companies, Crown Fibre Holdings is charged with the successful ongoing management of those businesses,” a CFH statement says.

“To that end, Crown Fibre Holdings is highly conscious of the need to ensure that fibre is not only deployed, but used. So understanding local barriers to uptake, and surveying which services and applications end users want, is an important part of building a more specific view of potential UFB demand.”

The survey forms are distributed through user-specific email links to the SurveyMonkey web service, which does not allow the message to be forwarded to other parties.

Anticipated bandwidth requirements and acceptable price levels are also canvassed. Prospective users are asked whom they see as their most likely provider – their existing or a new telco, an existing supplier or new company that does not currently provide telco services or “a new structure, for example a buying club”.

The possibility of a number of businesses in a particular sector getting together to act as a large-scale buyer, or even a wholesale provider of broadband services to its members, has been discussed in telco user forums.

Respondents are also asked what factors are likely to inhibit them from adopting UFB solutions and how serious an obstacle each would present. Suggestions include accessibility, speed, price, security and “management technophobia”. The online form has no space for users to suggest snags CFH has not thought of.

The survey was sent out last week and respondents have been given until October 19 to respond.

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