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Telecom in priority negotiations over ultrafast broadband

Monday 13th December 2010

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Telecom has been chosen to take part in prioritised negotiations for the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) initiative for most areas of the country.

Government agency Crown Fibre Holdings today said negotiations with Telecom would cover 25 areas.

Areas excluded are those where agreements have been approved. That includes Hamilton, Tauranga, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui, where an agreement was approved with Ultra Fast Fibre led by WEL Networks, and Whangarei where an agreement was approved with Northpower.

Also excluded from negotiations with Telecom is Timaru, which was covered by an Alpine Energy bid selected for prioritised negotiations in September.

Crown Fibre Holdings said Alpine remained selected for prioritised negotiations but a binding final offer had not yet been received from the company.

Also selected for prioritised negotiations today were Enable Networks covering Christchurch and Rangiora, and Flute Joint Venture represented by Aurora Energy covering Dunedin.

Crown Fibre said Telecom, Enable and Flute, had provided attractive proposals , including a combination of access prices in line with prices announced last week, the ability to complete the UFB build within the Government's allocated budget, as well as having industry experience and financial strength.

Crown Fibre chairman Simon Allen that in combination with the approved binding offers from Northpower and UltraFast Fibre, those parties had the potential to deliver nationally consistent access prices at attractive levels. That provided confidence the complete UFB initiative could be built within the Government's allocated budget.

Crown Fibre was open to the parties partnering in their candidate areas in order to deliver greater infrastructural utilisation. Such partnering will be a matter between the parties.

"Negotiations in the next phase will be focused on the three parties named today, as well as Alpine, but it should be noted that discussions will still continue with all respondents previously shortlisted," Mr Allen said.

"We are on track to achieving the Government's UFB objective. The inaugural deployment will be commencing this week in Whangarei, so building the UFB network is now under way."



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