New Zealand's Telecom has unveiled its initial products on the country's new Ultra-Fast Broadband fibre-to-the-premises network. The plans will be available to customers from tomorrow.
The Ultra-Fast Broadband project involves the rollout of fibre to some 75 per cent of New Zealanders by 2019. Construction is being carried out by the state-owned Crown Fibre Holdings in partnership with four private companies — Chorus (part of Telecom until a November 2011 demerger), Enable Networks, Northpower and UltraFast Fibre
The UFB initiative is being accompanied by a project -- the Rural Broadband Initiative -- to roll out fixed wireless and improved landline broadband to the portion of the NZ population not covered by UFB fibre.
Telecom will initially offer UFB plans in the areas where Chorus has rolled out fibre. Telecom will offer its 'Ultra Fibre' plans in parts of Auckland, Blenheim, Dunedin, Hastings, Levin, Napier, Nelson, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua, Timaru and Wellington. Ultra Fibre will be offered "within the next few months" in Ashburton, Masterton, Taupo and Invercargill, according to Telecom.
Telecom has spent the last 12 months internally trialling connections on the UFB fibre network. A statement from the company said that customers' phone services will remain on the copper network, but the telco is "looking to introduce a voice over fibre product later this year with development well underway".
Telecom is offering residential plans, small business plans and fibre broadband plans for schools. The residential plans start at NZ$95 (A$76) for 50GB for a 30/10Mbps plan. The cheapest 100Mbps plan (50GB) costs NZ$125 per month.
Residential plans have 12-month contracts and include landline rental, a fibre ready modem and fibre installation. Small business plans start at $167.29 per month plus GST for a 24-month contract and 200GB per month on a 100/50Mbps connection.