Computerworld

Enable completes UFB rollout in Christchurch

Local Fibre Company’s deployment 19 months ahead of schedule
  • Sarah Putt (Computerworld New Zealand)
  • 04 June, 2018 08:42

Enable, the Local Fibre Company contracted to deploy Ultra Fast Broadband in the greater Christchurch area, has completed its network deployment.

The company announced last week that the rollout, to more than 200,000 homes, businesses and schools, has been finished ahead of schedule. Enable chief executive Steve Fuller says it began the infrastructure project on 8 November 2011 in Halswell with an original completion date set for 31 December 2019.

“We installed the last piece of our network in a street at the top of Mount Pleasant – meaning we have completed the project 19 months ahead of schedule. This includes building to more areas than were initially planned when we began,” said Mr Fuller.

“Our network is more than five times the length of New Zealand. That’s more than nine million metres of ducting installed under our footpaths and roads right across the greater Christchurch area. It is fair to say that the construction of the network was an enormous challenge in a city that was devasted by earthquakes.”

Fuller says there are over 74,000 customers connected to fibre broadband services, with an increase of 24,000 in the last 11 months. The company is doubling the speed of its 100 Mbps residential wholesale service to its retailers at no extra cost, “so many residential customers will enjoy 200 Mbps download speeds, as our way of saying thank you,” Fuller says. This offer will be available on new orders from 1 July 2018

Enable is owned by Christchurch City Holdings Limited and the City Council, and was established in May 2007 as the Christchurch City Networks Limited before being renamed Enable. In its role as an LFC, Enable partnered with Crown Infrastructure Partners, the Government agency responsible for overseeing the build.

Communications Minister Clare Curran today recognised the milestone in the UFB build, which is part of the government’s initiative to make fibre broadband available to 87 per cent of Kiwi households and businesses by the end of 2022.

“The next step is to encourage more people to use it. Latest figures show only 35.6 per cent of Christchurch business and households are connected to ultra-fast broadband. More people need to make the most of this world-class broadband internet which is now on their doorstep,” she says.

According to the latest Quarterly Broadband Deployment update, nearly 1.3 million New Zealand end-users have access to ultra-fast broadband, and more than 42 per cent of those end users have taken up the connection.