About our network

We are New Zealand’s largest fixed line communications infrastructure services provider, supplying about 90% of all fixed network connections to our customers, telecommunications service providers.

Our network

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 1,794,000 fixed line connections and 1,207,000 broadband connections.

Basically we're a network of copper and fibre cables, cabinets and exchanges.

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 Ultra-Fast Broadband programme

The Ultra-Fast Broadband progamme takes fibre one step further - right into New Zealand homes and businesses. Find out more about UFB.

Maintaining and building our network

We have over 2,000 skilled service technicians on the road in 1,700 vans making over one million visits to Kiwi homes and businesses each year.

Our team of people throughout the country have an unparalleled knowledge of the network and are passionate about making sure it performs to world-class standards. Our field services team are busy working to build, maintain and repair New Zealand's largest phone and broadband network each day.

You’ll see us out and about – an especially welcome sight during extreme weather events when we work with local communities to keep the lines of communication open. We're well known for going the extra mile to resolve issues affecting services.

None of this would be possible without our service partners, Downer EDI Engineering, Transfield Services and Visionstream, who manage our field service technicians who work on our behalf to deliver excellent service throughout the country.

Our newest service partner, Universal Communications Group (UCG), is a specialist multi-dwelling unit design and construction provider with experience in delivering high volume telecommunications deployments across a variety of technologies. UCG is focusing on installing fibre into apartments and office blocks in Auckland and Wellington.

We work with Electronet on the West Coast to deliver UFB and repairs and maintenance to our network.

Network relocation service

Our network is made up of many components such as wires, fibre, ducts, cabinets, manholes, pillars and poles which have often existed for a long time but sometimes affect new developments. If you're planning a new driveway or subdividing your section and part of our network is in the way, we offer you a network relocation service.

Contact your phone and broadband provider to request our network relocation service. They have access to our systems and will submit a request to ensure your existing services are maintained after the relocation.

If you don't currently have a phone and broadband provider, please call us on 0800 4 NETWORK (0800 463 896) and press '3' to request the Network Relocation Service.

If you're a builder or developer, you should also call 0800 4 NETWORK.

If you're planning a subdivision, contact The Subdivisions Group who offer you specific services for new developments.

When you call

It'll speed up the process if you can tell us:

  1. What network element needs to be moved? We've included photos below to help you identify it and determine if it's part of our network. Note any identification numbers.
  2. Is the network element on private property?
  3. Why do you need the element moved?
  4. Are you the property owner? If not, providing the owner's name and contact details would help us keep things moving.

When we receive your request

One of our service technicians will visit your site to assess what needs to be moved and the amount of work involved. We'll provide a quote for the relocation cost valid for 30 days. Once payment is received, we'll start the work.

Identifying our network 

Berms are used by a range of utility companies (power, gas and water) and other telecommunication network operators, all of whom have equipment in place to deliver your services.

We've included photos below of some of our network parts to help you find them. Please be aware, for historical reasons, many of our parts have Telecom identification. If the part you want to move has Telecom printed or embossed on it, it's most likely ours.

Most of our network is underground so if you're planning earthworks, please ensure you use our beforeUdig service to find any underground cables and avoid potential damage.


Fibre to the node (FTTN) cabinet - copper network
Fibre to the node (FTTN) cabinet with mural
UFB (Fibre to the premise - FTTP) cabinet - fibre network (green)
UFB (Fibre to the premise - FTTP) cabinet - fibre network (beige)


There are numerous versions of plinths used in our network and we will continue to build our photo library. 

Plinth - fibre network
Plinth - The black box is for electricity


Chorus may own some of the poles in your street, or they may belong to the electricity lines company. If the pole also carries power lines you'll need to contact the electricity lines company.

If you're moving a high load (above 4.25m) and need us to temporarily move our network, fill out our online form for a High Load Permit.


We do not replace manholes often and some may have Telecom branding on them. These are likely to be owned by Chorus.

Copper cable jointing pit
Fibre cable jointing pit

Network build update

We continue to make ongoing improvements and upgrades to our network through the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI). We operate an open access network and work with many different phone and broadband providers who want information on our fibre rollout and cabinet upgrades.

If you want information on when fibre's coming to your street or what broadband services are currently available use our Broadband Capability Map which has been built based on the technical information below.

UFB rollout 

If you want information on when UFB is coming to your street, visit our Broadband Capability Map where we've released Year 1 to Year 4 information. The map indicates whether or not you're in our UFB rollout area.

If you're a Chorus customer and need more information but don't have access to our secure customer site, please email us.

RBI rollout 

The RBI rollout focuses on delivering fibre to priority entities such as schools and medial facilities. Based around the rollout of fibre to these, we're installing cabinets in rural areas which will provide a DSL-based service.

Our Broadband Capability Map gives you a good idea where cabinets are being delivered each year. More information on our RBI rollout including cabinet lists and shape files are available on our Rural Broadband Initiative page and a list of schools is available at Fibre to Schools.


Our plans for cabinetisation are detailed in the below documents as required by the UCLL and UCLL Co-location Standard Terms Determinations. 

This includes the most recent Cabinetisation Forecast and Cabinetisation Notice provided under clause 38.9-38.15 of the General Terms of the Determinations.

Please note this document includes cabinets equipped with either ADSL or ADSL2+ capable equipment (see column J for clarification). The dates listed for cabinetisation and cessation of supply do not necessarily indicate the actual date when customers will benefit from cabinet upgrades. This may be up to 90 days after the date listed.

Exchange and Cabinet Boundary Shapefiles 

Distribution cabinet 

A distribution cabinet is equipped with power and other support services which, when installed in the cabinet and/or associated pedestal, DSL services are able to be provided to one or more end users.

We provide regular updates regarding distribution cabinets under the Standard Terms Determination for Sub Loop Unbundling and a forecast of distribution cabinets likely to be commissioned within the next 12 months.

Please note the distribution cabinet information provided reflects our current records. We'll update the information to correct any errors as they're identified. Service providers are responsible for ensuring they use the most recent information available, which will be the version accessible from this webpage.

Click on "Pages" or "Next Page" to view reports on UCLL, SLU, UBA and our key performance indicators.

Transparency and equivalence

As part of our relationship with the government, we have a number of reporting and regulatory requirements we make publicly available to ensure transparency and equivalence.

We produce a number of monthly reports on provisioning of regulated products:

Each quarter we release our Key Performance Indicators report: