The core of our business is the nationwide network of fibre optic and copper cables connecting homes and businesses together. Our fibre network continues growing rapidly with about 1,761,000 fixed line connections and 1,223,000 broadband connections.
Our cables typically connect back to local telephone exchanges, of which we have about 600 nationwide.
Our fibre also connects many mobile phone towers owned by mobile service providers, so even mobile phone calls generally connect via our network at some point.
About 7,000 cabinets provide interconnection points for around 50% of the lines in our network. A large number of these cabinets are like mini telephone exchanges with electronic broadband equipment installed.
Some broadband providers (our customers) install their own broadband equipment in our exchanges and pay us for the rental of the access line. This is called ‘unbundling’ and makes up about 7% of our lines.
Projects to upgrade our network
Cabinetisation and the ADSL2+ Rollout or Fibre to the Node (FTTN)
In 2012 we completed a massive four-year programme to upgrade the local broadband network to over 80% of New Zealanders. This involved upgrading the broadband equipment in 340 exchanges and installing 3,600 new fibre-fed broadband cabinets across the country.
The fibre to the node programme was the first step in bringing fibre closer to New Zealand homes and businesses.
It effectively extended the reach of our exchanges into the communities. We did this by installing thousands of mini-exchanges we call ‘cabinets’ in towns and suburbs and linking them to the local exchange with fibre optic cable.
We committed to delivering broadband speeds of 10mbps to 80% of New Zealanders by the end of 2011. And we delivered - now towns with 500 or more phone lines and over 80% of New Zealanders have access to high speed broadband.
Each cabinet is equipped with broadband equipment, called an ISAM, so you can access faster broadband from a wide range of internet service providers.
If you’re within about 2km of a cabinet you should be able to connect at faster ADSL2+ speeds. If you’re closer, VDSL2 services offering speeds up to 50Mbps may also be available.
The fibre to the node programme is now being extended into rural areas under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) programme.
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or the UFB programme
The Ultra-Fast Broadband progamme takes fibre one step further - right into New Zealand homes and businesses. Find out more about UFB.