Spark has teamed up with Enable, the local fibre network provider for greater Christchurch, to trial a way of accelerating the rollout of UFB fibre to premises. Under a plan called ‘street in a week’ they aim to co-ordinate over the course of a week the upgrade to all homes in a neighbourhood that want fibre broadband with Spark, rather than installations taking up to several weeks.
Spark says that, under the current regime, most customers have to be present for two site visits, but street in a week will concentrate resources in one geographical area so that customers can get connected in a single, pre-selected day.
Trials are taking place in the Christchurch area in parts of Avonhead, Riccarton, Burnside, Russley and Sockburn this week with up to 90 customers. These will be followed by trials in parts of Shirley, Papanui, Richmond, St Albans, and Dallington next week with a further 90 customers.
Enable CEO Steve Fuller said the new approach “could be a game-changing approach to installing fibre broadband – particularly if it means we can provide a better customer experience and shorter connection time for fibre broadband customers in our community.”
However Spark has given no indication of plans to widen use of the new approach. It said that, nationwide, 31 percent of New Zealanders who have fibre laid in their street have so far chosen to upgrade from copper and that street in a week “aims to make it as easy as possible for more New Zealanders to make the move.”