Northpower has opened up its lit fibre Layer 2 network in Whangarei to local retail internet service provider Xf Net.
The Whangarei-based electricity lines company, a member of the New Zealand Regional Fibre Group (NZRFG) which is collectively bidding for a role in the government's $1.5 billion fibre to the home rollout, says Xf Net has finalised its testing phase and is now ready to provide high-speed broadband.
Northpower’s fibre manager and NZRFG spokesman Darren Mason says Layer 1 access, where larger customers light the fibre themselves, is also available. It is understood ICT minister Steven Joyce includes this in his definition of open access for the purposes of the government's fibre project.
Mason says the government is looking for a "multitude of offers" to drive fibre to the home. He says Layer 2 is can be particularly cost effective in regional environments and Northpower's launch partner, TelstraClear, is also using a managed Layer 2 service.
Average upload and download speeds on the Northpower fibre network can support 100Mbit/s, the company says.
Mason says Northpower offered an ultra-fast Layer 2 service from day one to enable easier access for smaller providers who might not have the capital to light a dark fibre network.
“Now we have opened the network, it’s great to have local companies on board. We are in the process of finalising contracts with more providers and we expect to have at least another six offering services on our network by the end of this year,” he says.
The NZRFG is a nationwide collective of 19 electricity lines and fibre specialists.
Mason says under the Government’s UFB model, Local Fibre Companies will be obliged to sell access to anyone.