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New fibre-only ISP, MyRepublic, seeks to shake up NZ market

Wednesday 22nd January 2014

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MyRepublic, a Singapore-based internet service provider, plans to enter the New Zealand market in the middle of this year, targeting services provided over the government-sponsored ultrafast broadband fibre network.

The company's local unit, headed by former Regional Fibre Group chief Vaughan Baker, is pitching itself as a fibre-only ISP and plans to deliver products and services specifically designed for the UFB network, it said in a statement. Just 14,248 customers have signed up to UFB services of the 322,479 able to connect as at Sept. 30, and MyRepublic is aiming to grab market share while it's still unclaimed.

"From an industry perspective, legacy copper networks are much more profitable, which explains why incumbent providers aren't encouraging customers to move to fibre," Baker said. "It's up to us to introduce greater competition, to offer attractive services at affordable prices and help fibre really take off."

In a 2012 report on demand-side drivers for ultrafast broadband services, the Commerce Commission identified access to content, data cap charges and the cost of connecting as likely to influence uptake.

More recently, telecommunications network operator Chorus, which is building the bulk of the UFB, has argued that cuts to its regulated copper line service prices will undermine migration to fibre by making the older technology a cheaper alternative.

Baker said the uptake of fibre services has been slow relative to the roll-out of the network, following a similar pattern seen in Singapore.

Since the company entered the Singapore market, fibre pricing has dropped, and the company this year launched 1 gigabit per second services in the Asian city-state.

MyRepublic is expected to charge based on the speed of its services, rather than using data caps, which is the norm in the local market, and anticipates this will be attractive to content providers.

 

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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