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Chorus kicks off fibre rollout, releases handy UFB deployment map

Want to know when UFB is coming to a suburb near you? See the Chorus fibre deployment map here.

Want to know when UFB is coming to a suburb near you? See the Chorus fibre deployment map here.

Yesterday Chorus and Crown Fibre Holdings began the rollout of UFB, which will be delivered first to priority customers including schools, hospitals and businesses.

It is also prioritising business services to areas with existing Chorus fibre access; new fibre will be rolled out to commercial areas with limited fibre network and selected schools.

Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe said by July next year, the new network would cover more than 43,000 homes and businesses across the country.

Under the UFB initiative Chorus is contracted to Auckland and 23 other centres over the next eight and a half years.  Fibre will be rolled out across Auckland, including Whenuapai, Long Bay, Swanson, Papakura and Drury.

Deployment will cover a population of more than 1.4 million as well as 24,200 business premises, more than 400 schools and more than 2,500 medical and other healthcare services. 

The Albany industrial area is one of the first UFB candidate areas where fibre-optic cables have been deployed, with work in Ashburton, Blenheim, Dunedin, Masterton, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington set to begin before Christmas.

Steven Joyce, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, said the UFB initiative was essential for continued growth in Auckland.

“Fibre with ultra fast capability will mean business people, innovators and entrepreneurs in our largest city can compete with anyone anywhere in the world.  The barriers of distance and time will be almost completely removed by the UFB.”

Deployment plans for Feilding, Gisborne, Greymouth, Invercargill, Kapiti, Levin, Nelson, Oamaru, Pukekohe, Queenstown, Timaru, Waiheke Island, Waiuku and Whakatane are still being developed.

Crown Fibre chief executive Graham Mitchell said it was pleased with progress to date.

"We are on track towards 75 percent of New Zealanders having fibre to their door by the end of 2019."

Chorus has been selected by government agency Crown Fibre Holdings to build a fibre-optic cable network that will enable UFB for more than 800,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2019.

As part of Telecom's UFB agreement with Crown Fibre, the deployment of the new fibre network has begun to enable customers to connect to UFB services before a demerger of Chorus from Telecom is voted on by shareholders later this year.