Fibre penetration in NZ to hit 50 percent by 2020: IDC

Video content, user education, and robust and consistent installation are key to driving fibre uptake

IDC says fibre penetration in New Zealand will hit 50 percent by 2020.

The technology analyst firm released its latest research paper titled "When will fibre take off in New Zealand?", which is the basis of an 11 year forecast of fibre trends in the country up to 2023.

Approximately 120,000 premises will be connected to the government's $1.3 billion UFB network in the next three to five years, says IDC.

This relatively slow period will be followed by a rapid uptake between 2015 and 2017 which will see around 600,000 premises connected to UFB services.

Glen Saunders, telco market analyst for IDC, says these figures are for residential and business consumers using UFB services through a retail service provider.

Using overseas trends as models, IDC says video content, user education, and a robust and consistent installation process is key to driving fibre uptake.

A robust and consistent installation process is required, says IDCLocal fibre companies are busy trialling these but early reports indicate that an installation can take more than a day and cause a lot of disruption for the householder. Larger retail service providers will not want to risk their brands, until there is a consistent, positive installation experience for customers, says IDC.

The firm says New Zealand may not strictly follow paths lead by other countries.

"It is very difficult to use fibre uptake rates from overseas markets as predictors in NZ because the commercial models have generally been so different. Singapore and Australia are about the only countries with similar national government driven rollout programmes to NZ but they are also at an early stage," says IDC Research Manager, Peter Wise.

"In other countries fibre rollouts have tended to arise either on a small scale or as a result of competitive pressure, for instance from cable TV players."

IDC says it will take at least nine years before fibre takes over copper as the dominant means of carrying broadband information.