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Chorus announces major growth of New Zealand's fibre network
Thu, 15th Feb 2024

Chorus has announced the first substantial growth of New Zealand's fibre network since the completion of the government-backed Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme in December 2022. The Chorus-funded project will deliver cutting-edge fibre internet to another 10,000 homes and businesses across 59 communities nationwide.

These plans extend from Kerikeri in the north right down to Otatara in the south. The project was inaugurated recently in Waiau Pa, South Auckland, in conjunction with Chorus build partner, Ventia.

This phase of fibre expansion testifies to Chorus' determination to ensure high-speed, reliable broadband is available to as much of Aotearoa as possible. Between 2011 and 2022, the government-supported UFB programme saw fibre introduced to 412 towns and cities. With an uptake of over 70 per cent, nearly 1.4 million homes and businesses are currently connected to fibre. Interestingly, the average monthly data usage for fibre customers on Chorus' network stands nearly at 600GB, more than double the usage six years ago, indicating the strong demand for digital content and reliable connectivity.

Anna Mitchell, General Manager of Fibre Frontier at Chorus, emphasised that the expansion of the fibre network to these 59 communities represents a significant step forward in connecting Aotearoa to world-class fibre broadband and narrowing the digital connectivity divide between urban and non-urban regions.

Mitchell said, "We are profoundly aware of rural New Zealanders' eagerness to access fibre broadband. We want to take fibre further, and we remain committed to working alongside the Government, policymakers, and the Commerce Commission to create an environment that allows for further investment beyond this initial phase."

The Chorus fibre build programme for the 10,000 premises has already begun and is expected to be finished by mid-2025. This initial phase of fibre network expansion targets communities in close proximity to Chorus' existing fibre network, allowing for a quick and efficient rollout.

Chorus continues to highlight that fibre remains New Zealanders' preferred technology choice for the long term through ongoing research. As Kiwis increasingly depend on digital platforms for economic and social activities, fibre presents a sustainable, long-term connectivity solution, free from the capacity problems wireless broadband alternatives may encounter.