Consultants engaged for UFB rollout

Programme managers announced for four broadband sub-projects

The Ministry of Economic Development has selected programme managers for its $1.5 billion Ultra-Fast Broadband investment and for its Rural Broadband Initiative.

Reset International will manage the Rural Broadband Initiative, one of four sub-projects in the government's broadband implementation programme that went to tender late last year. It includes the finalisation of policy, tender development, tender implementation, tender evaluation and contract arrangements.

Reset was founded by Chris Bishop who, according to his Linked In page, has managed large programmes including the merger of Fonterra.

Another company, Gravel Road Consulting, formerly GDI New Zealand, has also picked up part of the UFB programme management contract. Ian Gordon is the major shareholder in Gravel Road with other principals including Frank Verver, David Skinner and John Spence Thomas, according to the Companies Office.

According to the tender, the four projects are:

1. Ultra-fast broadband

This sub-project is largely the responsibility of Crown Fibre Holdings.

"Work in this area is currently anticipated to be limited to progressing the hand over seamlessly and dealing with any residual regulatory and related policy work that may arise," the document says.

2. The Rural Broadband Initiative

This sub-project will continue to be led by MED and, as outlined above, will include; finalisation of policy, tender development, tender implementation, tender evaluation and contract arrangements.

3. The Telecommunications Services Obligation

This sub-project largely involves the finalisation of the government’s policy and progressing any necessary legislation.

4. Facilitating efficient broadband development

This sub-project will involve developing potential interventions that will facilitate the implementation of broadband.

"Interventions will range from “how to” guides; development of standards and codes in conjunction with local government and other stakeholders and potentially legislative provisions if these prove necessary," the tender says.

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