Chorus update… What’s the current state of NZ broadband connections?

Chorus reveals quarterly connections update across the country...

Total fixed line connections increased by 1,000 to 1,783,000 across New Zealand during the period from 31 December 2014 to 31 March 2015, according to Chorus’ quarterly update report figures.

Released to the market via the New Zealand Stock Exchange, the telco reports that broadband connections increased by 11,000 lines, or 1 percent, to 1,197,000 with Chorus’ UFB communal build currently 40 percent complete with 439,000 end-users now able to connect to ultra-fast broadband nationwide.

Furthermore, there has be a “significant increase” in UFB orders received in February and March, with the latter recorded as the second biggest month to date for UFB connections.

The quarter also saw the launch of the Gigatown promotion in Dunedin with ~400 1Gbps connections to date, leading to the city being ranked 1st in Australasia for broadband speed by Ookla “Net Index” global broadband rankings with 75Mbps average download speed between December and April.

Away from the city and 85,000 rural lines are now within reach of better broadband through Chorus’ work on the Rural Broadband Initiative while fixed line broadband continues to gain market share from wireless.

Meanwhile service providers continued focus on cost out and legacy product alternatives as competition increases following the M2 acquisition of Callplus and 2 Degrees acquisition of Snap, as reported by Computerworld New Zealand.

Capping off the general findings of the quarter, Chorus also reported growth in online content offerings with Spark’s free Lightbox offer and the launch of Sky TV’s Neon service (February) and Netflix NZ (March).

UFB deployment and uptake

UFB build 40 percent complete:

• build complete for 333,000 premises

• 439,000 end-users able to connect to Chorus UFB

• 278,000 premises tested and paid at 31 March

• FY15 target: Build complete for 72,000 of 106,000 premises

Uptake varies widely from area to area:

• 56,000 connections within UFB deployed footprint (47,000 at 31 Dec)

• March was second biggest month to date for UFB connections

• 12.8 percent uptake across all Chorus UFB areas relative to capable addresses

• Blenheim has highest uptake at 16.9 percent relative to capable addresses

Connections trends

Total connections up by 1,000 lines (note: Q2 and Q3 subject to seasonal variation with departure then return of tertiary students):

• Shift from baseband copper to other connection types continues

• 15 percent increase in fibre lines

• 10 percent growth in ‘Naked’ lines

• 75,000 fibre connections nationwide (up from 65,000 at 31 Dec)

Increase of 11,000 broadband connections or 1 percent for the quarter:

• Continued RSP migration of end-users from Basic UBA service

• 14 percent of connections now high-speed VDSL or fibre

• IDC data indicates RBI fixed line coverage gaining share from rural wireless

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