Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/23/nz_ufb_retail_suitors/

Kiwi ultra-fast net gets retail suitors

But big guns play hard-to-get

By Natalie Apostolou

Posted in Broadband, 23rd March 2011 22:24 GMT

New Zealand's NZ$1.5bn Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network-in-waiting has attracted the interest of 13 telecommunications service providers according to Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH), the government agency managing the project.

The UFB is set to deliver fibre-optic broadband to over 75 per cent of the New Zealander population within the next ten years. Crown Fibre expects retailers to reveal product offerings and prices to the market in coming weeks.

Telecom New Zealand and Telstra Clear are no-shows on the list. A mix of ISPs, utilities and service providers have signed letters of intent confirming their interest in providing retail services, these include Vodafone New Zealand, Woosh, WorldxChange, CallPlus, FX Networks, Kordia, Maxnet, Orcon, Rural Link, TrustPower Kinect, Uber Group, Velocity Networks and Xf Net.

"We've worked hard to make wholesale services affordable and we're delighted that's been acknowledged in the strong interest received from so many retail service providers," said Graham Mitchell, Crown Fibre Holdings CEO.

Crown Fibre deals signed so far include wholesale pricing from $39 a month. Telecommunications Users Association of NZ (TUANZ), CEO Paul Brislen said: "It'll be great to see some retail prices out there so our users can plan their future telecommunications spend. The more competition the better in our view. TUANZ looks forward to seeing innovative and competitive pricing from these retailers." ®