Almost all homes to get free UFB connection - until 2016
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The government and Crown Fibre Holdings have reached agreement with UFB partners Chorus, Enable and Northpower that provides for free residential connections for distances of up to 200 metres per house from the road, until at least the end of 2015.
ICT Minister Amy Adams confirmed the deal today.
“While the provision of free connections was already in place for the vast majority of homes, the uncertainty for those classed as non-standard was creating some concern for retail service providers and the public,” she says in a statement. “Today’s announcement provides certainty for the next three years while we finalise negotiations for the remainder of the build period.”
The “200 metres per house” limit means that, for example, three houses sharing a common driveway will be allowed 600 metres of free connection.
The proportion of houses that fall outside the new limits is estimated at 0.3 percent, says Adams.
Originally, free connection through Chorus was only stipulated for “standard” residential premises. This was defined as:
• 15 metres of buried cable from the property boundary; or
• One span of overhead fibre cable from an existing pole; or
• 100 metres of fibre cable in an existing pipe or new pipe in a provided trench; or
• 5 metres of internal fibre cable from the point where the lead-in enters the premises (external termination point).
Chorus has earmarked an additional $20 million to fund the free installations that are beyond 15 metres, according to an announcement the company made to the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
Northpower and Enable were required to fund installations for residential customers that involved distances of up to 30 metres for buried fibre, 60 metres for aerial and 100 metres for approved conduit or open trench.
Chorus subsequently introduced a “free introductory trial” for retail service providers signing up to UFB. This was due to end in December.
The UFB partners have agreed to fund the majority of the additional connection package, whilst some additional value has been provided through negotiated technical changes in the respective contracts without increasing the government’s $1.35 billion total investment, says the minister’s announcement.
The remaining UFB partner company, Ultra-Fast Fibre, which operates in the central North Island, has already undertaken to provide free residential connections until 2019.
Computerworld first raised the non-standard UFB installation issue in April, after former TelstraClear CEO Allan Freeth complained that Chorus was pushing the extra costs onto Retail Service Providers.
Is he right or wrong?
Posted by Anonymous at 7:33:43 on November 4, 2012
Posted by Ross at 15:44:28 on November 1, 2012
We already willingly accept a lesser standard of service in so many things - roads, water, electricity supply, rates, telephone... and broadband. We do so as a matter of choice and I like so many, would not choose to go back to the city for better things.
The point is that the government are providing a handout to one section of the country and not another. This is simple discrimination and it is not unreasonable to question that.
And yes I know that Chorus and the other LFCs are the ones 'investing' in this handout. I wonder what the quid pro quo by the government is?
But the real question is, just how much extra should rural people have to pay for their broadband services (over what urban people pay) for the privilege of living where they choose?
Remember that the benefits of high speed broadband are touted to be around health, education, the provision of government services and economic development. It is rural people that stand to offer the highest economic benefits to the country in these aspects. Yet we have broadband services that for most, are and always will be, incapable of providing these services.
Posted by Rural Johnny at 11:01:36 on November 6, 2012
Do you have a problem with your broadband service or lack of? The government effectively nationalised broadband when they launched the fibre / RBI initiative. Private investment to expand existing fixed and wireless infrastructure and add new immediately dropped away. NZ broadband has been standing still these last 4 years waiting for delivery of the brave new world.
Did you vote for a party who put the fibre/RBI policy as keystones of their 2008 campaigns (then again in 2011)?
You are the root cause of the problem.
Posted by FORD at 14:09:49 on November 2, 2012
Posted by Ross at 18:42:41 on November 2, 2012
People in towns & cities get constant noise, an abundance of idiots and their friends, light pollution, atmospheric pollution and generally a lower quality of life.
You want to have your cake and to eat it too? How about the rural communities pay more taxes to remove those ills in exchange for DSL broadband?
Posted by Ford at 17:31:30 on November 1, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 22:21:45 on November 1, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 22:19:00 on November 1, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 22:07:08 on November 1, 2012
as it stands now you might have to cough up 1-2k for broadband but can buy property for hundreds of thousands of dollars less.
you choose to live in the countryside and it comes with plusses and minuses. you get cleaner air, vastly cheaper land, friendlier people etc. urban people get better infrastructure. thatst the trade off. don'tlike it? solution is to move to the city.
Posted by Anonymous at 12:45:59 on November 2, 2012