FX Networks completes $17m fibre rollout

680km laid in past year, company says

FX Networks has completed its fibre roll-out connecting Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier, Hastings, Dannevirke, Masterton and Wellington, at a cost of $17 million.

“We’ve laid 680 kilometres of fibre since last March,” says chief executive Murray Jurgeleit. “It extends our reach so we can service our national clientele, such as banks in the provinces, and we can add new ones.

“It also gives us diversity – five rings that gives us 'five 9s' availability.

“It also means users can address mission-critical applications in areas such as health.” FX Networks is talking to “half a dozen” central North Island district health boards, he says.

The company is working on strategies to extend its service to Whangarei, New Plymouth and Gisborne. Jurgeleit expects the build to Whangarei and New Plymouth to begin within 24 months, but says Gisborne is more problematic because of its relative isolation.

In the South Island, FX Networks has begun building from Blenheim to Christchurch.

“We expect to have that finished and turned on in May,” Jurgeleit says. The cost will be around $12 million.

Nelson will be linked to the network through a deal with Network Tasman.

“When the link to Christchurch is completed, we will have 2100 kilometres of fibre around the country,” Jurgeleit says.

“We’ve in discussions about extending to Dunedin and Invercargill within 24 months. The business case for remote cities is marginal, so we need to be in partnership with other parties.

“We’re primarily focused on the business community.”

The company will have been operating for two years by the end of March. Jurgeleit says he is expecting revenue of $25 million for the most recent year and a profit before depreciation and interest of $5 million.

“That’s well ahead of budget,” he says.

FX Networks is contracted to provide the backbone for the Government Shared Network, which is being phased out. “That represents just 4 to 5% of our revenue,” Jurgeleit says.

He says his company will be competing for any replacement business that comes up for tender.

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Tags FX NetworksNetworking & Telecomms IDfibre roll-out

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