Chorus has finished building its Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network in Ashburton, the second town in New Zealand to have its fibre network completed under Chorus’ UFB programme.
The completion of the project in Ashburton means about 8,700 houses, businesses, schools and health facilities are now able to access fibre.
“As one of the first towns to be completed by Chorus, Ashburton is now in the enviable position of getting a head start on the rest of New Zealand,” says Ed Beattie, GM of Infrastructure, Chorus.
“UFB has the potential to transform New Zealand’s economy, our communities, and the way we connect to the rest of the world, so we’re really looking forward to seeing how the Ashburton community can best take advantage of having world-class connectivity right on their door step.
“To help the Ashburton community make the most of fibre, Chorus is taking the next step of working with the local council, communities and the industry to build excitement around the benefits fibre can deliver for residents and businesses.”
Beattie says Chorus is building about 70 per cent of the UFB network in a public-private partnership with the Government.
Chorus has 24 areas around New Zealand where it is deploying the UFB network.
All up, Chorus’ UFB network will run past more than 830,000 homes, businesses, schools and health facilities throughout the country by the end of 2019.
“The Government has invested $9 million to bring fibre to the people of Ashburton since the build started in the town in 2012," adds Communications Minister Amy Adams.
"The new network means better speeds, capacity and reliability for this community."
Adams says more than ten per cent of eligible users in Ashburton have already signed up for fibre and the rate of uptake has almost doubled in the past six months - customers have a choice of six retail providers that are active in the area.
Fibre is also being rolled out to state and state integrated schools in and around Ashburton, with 17 out of 24 now connected to the Government’s Network for Learning.
Seven towns in New Zealand are now fully fibred: Whangarei, Te Awamutu, Oamaru, Cambridge, Tokoroa, Hawera and Ashburton.
“The Government is committed to building world-class fibre infrastructure in regional towns around New Zealand because of the long-term gains it brings," Adams adds.
"Faster broadband is critical to growing the economy, driving innovation and improving outcomes in education, health and the not-for-profit sector.
“With stage one of the UFB build well advanced, the Government is now progressing the extension of the programme to a further 200,000 New Zealanders, meaning the overall reach of UFB will move from 75 per cent to 80 per cent of all New Zealanders."