Ultra-Fast Broadband

Building a world-class network for New Zealand

The ultra-fast broadband programme (UFB) is delivering fibre to your street, home, business, local school and medical facility.

Lately, you may have heard a lot of talk about fibre. That’s because fibre optic cables are key to building New Zealand’s world-class telecommunications network now and in the future. Fibre can deliver large amounts of data further and faster than the copper cables that traditionally deliver telecommunications services.

Right now, we’re rolling out the government’s ultra-fast broadband (UFB) plan to bring fibre even closer to homes and businesses. This fibre to the premises (FTTP) network means it will be possible to deliver the highest data speeds that can support services like internet television and high definition video conferencing. The programme involves laying thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cable and ducting to bring ultra-fast broadband to more than 830,000 homes and businesses across New Zealand.

Off to a flying start

It’s a massive project that will keep us busy until the end of 2019. The good news is we have a head start because we’ve been laying fibre since the early 1980’s.

" +20,000 km - UFB and RBI will deliver more fibre "

We already have 30,000km of fibre connecting our telephone exchanges and suburban broadband cabinets. This means that today, around 80% of New Zealanders are connected to a network with a fibre backbone so they can access higher speed broadband services or take advantage of new DSL technologies like VDSL2.

Our fibre future

Now, we’re working with the Crown on the ultra-fast broadband initiative which takes fibre one step further – all the way to the gate or doorstep of homes and businesses.

We’re taking the fibre from the local exchange to new fibre cabinets in throughout the neighbourhood. From there we’ll lay microduct down each street in our UFB area, and blow the fibre through the microduct to the premises when a customer is ready to connect to fibre.

We’ll install the fibre cables along the street using existing ducts, dig or drill to install new ducts and microduct, or in some cases we may use existing street poles; although we prefer to put the network underground wherever possible.

" Once we’ve completed the work in each area, business and residential customers will be able to arrange a fibre connection with their telecommunications service provider. "

When our work in the street is completed you need to place an order with your telecommunications service provider. Your service provider will then contact us to make the last connection which can be made by stringing the fibre optic cable from an existing street pole, through an existing underground duct, or through a new underground duct we install to the property.

The fibre is finally connected to the External Termination Point (ETP) which is a box on the outside of a house or building where the fibre network is joined to the internal wiring. Buildings such as apartment blocks will need fibre cabling run up to each individual apartment.

Schools get priority

Schools and hospitals get priority in our rollout for ultra-fast broadband. In addition, we are also getting fibre to more than 1,000 rural schools as part of the Rural Broadband Iniative. 

Find out more about fibre to schools here.

First customers connected to UFB - view the video

Connecting homes and businesses is the final leg of the journey in the UFB rollout and the one that will really make a difference to the way New Zealanders experience the internet.

Right now, Chorus is trialling the process for installing UFB, working out the best method to connect the first UFB customers. The task involves installing the fibre cable from the boundary as well as completing the in-home installation of the optical network terminal (ONT), which is essentially the modem for fibre.

Bringing UFB to your house

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The lounge is emerging as the preferred location for the ONT. With end users increasingly multi-tasking – talking on the phone, working on a laptop and using smart devices like TV and mobile phones for high bandwidth applications – it’s clear the living room is where most bandwidth is consumed. From there, there are various options for integrating with the existing home wiring, depending on the retail service provider’s offering and the type of service their end users want. 

" As with any new endeavour, it’s a steep learning curve and we are working closely with the industry, its retail service provider customers and CFH on the final installation approach. "

What we do know is that it needs to be one seamless simple process and a positive experience for end users. Overseas experience shows that multiple truck rollouts are not only more costly but also result in more faults.

We are continuing to work with retail service providers around developing new fibre services, designing the best possible installation experience and together educating New Zealanders on the benefits of fibre and the migration path to a fibre world.

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