Vodafone and Canadian fibre grid specialist Axia have formed an alliance through which they will bid to deliver the solution to the government’s planned ultra-fast broadband project.
The government has committed to spending $1.5bn to help New Zealand make a quantum leap from a copper-based network to a world class ultra-fast broadband network.
In a media statement released by Vodafone today, Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners says the partnership 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," Stanners says.
Axia has built similar next-generation networks in Canada, France and Singapore and doesn’t compete with its own customers.
Axia CEO Art Price is quoted as saying: “We are excited about helping New Zealanders to 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.
Stanners concludes: “Of all the countries in the world, New Zealand stands to benefit the most from the building of a next-generation network. We are remote from our markets, we have a small population but we think smarter, we work harder to develop our intellectual property. If we build a network that allows us to interact with our customers overseas then all New Zealand benefits from the economic gain it will bring. The tyranny of distance has been a major speed bump in New Zealand’s economic progress and we have the opportunity to remove that barrier for all time."