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New fibre broadband connections are now outpacing the decline of copper

Fibre broadband outpacing copper
Friday, May 3, 2019

Growth of fibre in New Zealand has reached a tipping point as demand for fibre outpaced copper in the March quarter.  Chorus announced that demand for fibre outpaced its copper losses in areas where it isn’t building the ultrafast broadband network.

Chorus added a total of 5,000 broadband connections in the three months ending on March 31, taking it to 1.19 million connections, up from 1.18 million connections a year earlier. There were 39,000 new connections in the quarter, adding to a total of 556,000 fibre connections, and up from 394,000 the year before.

That more than made up for 22,000 fewer ADSL copper connections and a decline of 12,000 VDSL connections.

So, new fibre connections are on the up, and new ASDL and VDSL connections are slowing down.

Chorus is the main provider for the government sponsored fibre broadband rollout, and is responsible for rolling out fibre for homes across the country. Chorus has completed 43,000 fibre installations in the first quarter of 2019. And, their installation speed is speeding up, with an average lead time of 9 days, compared to 12 days in December.

The New Zealand fibre broadband rollout is 73% complete. So far 53% (771, 000) of homes and businesses connected out of 1.02 million customers who are able to connect to fibre.

Kiwi homes are using more data too. Chorus said that the average connection use 247 gigabytes (GB) of data in the March quarters, up from 235GB in December. Out of that, fibre connections used an average of 329GB compared to 175GB on copper connections.

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