1Gbps services becoming the norm, says NZ’s Chorus

29,000 1Gpbs services, Chorus says

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New Zealand network operator Chorus has declared that gigabit broadband services are “now the norm” following 29,000 new 1Gbps connections in the quarter to 31 December.

The figure represents a 50 percent increase in the number of 1Gbps services, which now comprise 13 per cent of all connections, according to Chorus.

Speaking at the announcement of Chorus’ HY20 results, Chorus CEO JB Rousselot said: “Comparison sites, like broadbandcompare.co.nz, are highlighting providers who now offer gigabit plans at prices comparable to earlier 100Mbps plans.”

He added: “Our market-led focus on encouraging the uptake of gigabit broadband plans is changing the perception of what stress-free broadband looks like. Now everyone can be streaming online TV simultaneously without the worry of buffering or a data cap being breached.”

In its results Chorus also said that customers were becoming increasingly conscious of the limitations of broadband plans with capped data allowances: In January the average household data usage on Chorus’ fibre network was 372 gigabytes, up from 342 in June 2019.

Chorus has completed 99,000 fibre installations since 30 June 2019. Rousselot said Chorus had completed, in November, its nine-year contract with the government to take fibre to 28 towns and cities.

“The contract was delivered on-time and on-budget and is a textbook case study of how a public-private partnership can work well in delivering a cost-effective outcome for taxpayers,” he said.

“The second phase of our fibre build, UFB2, is already about 40 percent complete and there are now just 150,000 premises remaining to be passed by December 2022.”

For the six months to 31 December Chorus reported net profit after tax of $31 million, compared to $30m in the first half of FY19; EBITDA of $332m (HY19: $318m); operating revenue of $483m (HY19: $489m).

Since December 2018 the company has reduced staff numbers from 914 to 862 and incurred restructuring cost of $1.5m.

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