New Zealand welcomes 1Gbps rollouts
22 August 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe
New Zealand’s Enable, MyRepublic, Northpower Fibre and Ultrafast Fibre are all launching 1Gbps wholesale fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services, effective October 1, 2016.
The news was welcomed by the country’s minister for communications, Amy Adams, who said New Zealand’s super-fast internet is now on par with the world.
“Since the Government launched the UFB initiative in 2009, broadband has become faster and cheaper, and those benefits have been made increasingly available to New Zealanders,” said Adams.
Gigabit Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) has been designed to handle the demands of faster speeds and higher capacity. The new 1Gbps speeds announced are ten times faster than the Government’s benchmark policy product of 100Mbps from the original UFB tender.
“Faster speeds means people can use the internet in ways that were never possible before, creating more innovation and productivity from the Government’s $1.35 billion investment into the UFB. The 1Gbps speeds puts us on par with many leading markets, including South Korea, Japan, Singapore and parts of the United States. This means our exporters can compete in the global digital economy, creating jobs and higher wages,” added Adams.
Enable is launching 1Gbps fibre broadband services to greater Christchurch and its CEO, Steve Fuller, said: “Upload speeds are becoming increasingly important to consumers and will become even more important in the future. Upload speeds impact the rate at which we can safely store our family memories in the cloud or share our own creative content online.”
Fellow fibre broadband provider, MyRepublic, has also announced gig technology rollouts in Whangarei, Hamilton, Christchurch and seven regional centres. Vaughan Baker, MD of MyRepublic, says it is a direct result of the company working with infrastructure providers encouraging them to introduce UFB technology more widely throughout New Zealand.
Baker added: “We want local businesses and consumers to be able to access UFB and particularly gig services to ensure more Kiwis can take advantage of the digital economy.”
Feenix Communications has been appointed as an additional provider to support MyRepublic’s rollout to consumers and to deliver a purpose-built network to support the gig over the UFB network. Feenix CEO, David Heald, says: “The company is utilising the latest networking technology from Nokia to provide the core backhaul network fabric required to support the gig experience.”
Baker says MyRepublic aims to have as many Kiwis as possible on a gig connection and therefore it will automatically upgrade its 200Mbps customers in Whangarei, Hamilton, Christchurch to a 1000Mbps gig plan for no additional cost as soon the gig is made available in October.
“MyRepublic puts customers first. Everyone’s busy and customers shouldn’t have to contact their ISP and negotiate a new contract or beg to be upgraded to the gig.”
Minister Amy Adams added: “I encourage the industry to collaborate to offer gigabit plans at retail level on attractive terms.”