A solution to who pays for connecting difficult-to-reach
houses to the new ultra-fast broadband network appears to
have been reached, though it may last only three years.
Chorus announced today it would pay up to $20 million to
connect houses down long driveways and other hard-to-reach
The question of who would foot the bill for these types of
difficult fibre installations threatened to stem the uptake
to the Government's billion-dollar broadband initiative.
Under its existing contracts Chorus - responsible for the UFB
rollout in Auckland, Rotorua, Nelson, Wellington and a large
chunk of the South Island - is required to meet only the cost
of 15 metres of underground cabling or a single span of
aerial line from the roadside when hooking up a house to its
But today Chorus said it would provide $20 million to cover
the cost of connecting homes that are further from the
roadside, up to 200 metres.
According to Communications Minister Amy Adams, Enable and
Northpower - which are building the network in Christchurch
and Northland - had also agreed to make connections free for
houses up to 200 metres from the road, until at least the end
Ultra-Fast Fibre, which operates in the central North Island,
had already said it would provide free residential
connections until 2019.
"Today's announcement provides certainty for the next three
years while we finalise negotiations for the remainder of the
build period," Adams said.
"Given the enormous benefits and the wide range of services
UFB will offer, we want switching to fibre to be as simple as
possible. 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."
The UFB partners had agreed to fund the majority of the
additional connection package, Adams said.
Three houses sharing a right of way would have up to 600
metres of free installation from the edge of the legal road.
If this amount was exceeded, customers would need to
contribute towards costs beyond 200 metres, Estimates suggest
that only about 0.3 per cent of UFB residential premises fall
into the category of having a connection longer than 200
Under the deal announced today, fibre hook-ups are also free
for people who live in multi-unit complexes three storeys or
For multi-unit complexes that are more than three storeys,
UFB partners have already agreed to fund the first $1000 of
installation costs per tenancy under their existing
agreements with retail service providers.
- Hamish Fletcher of the New Zealand Herald