Matthew Theunissen is a business reporter

Broadband rollout will continue - Key

UFB fibreoptic cable rolled out in Napier.
UFB fibreoptic cable rolled out in Napier.

Prime Minister John Key says the timetable for the ultra-fast broadband rollout will not be changed, despite a report saying Chorus is not delivering on its contracts.

Communications Minister Amy Adams said this morning that she had been given an initial report from consultants Ernst & Young Australia into whether Chorus could deliver on its broadband contracts.

The preliminary conclusion was that copper price changes would have significant impact on Chorus' financial position.

Mr Key told media this afternoon he did not expect this to affect the time it took to complete the rollout, which has been one of his Government's flagship projects.

"I think the Government's given a very clear signal today that we expect ultra-fast broadband to be completed on the timeframe that we earlier indicated because we believe that the economic and social benefits for New Zealand are significant.''

The Government expected the next step would be for Chorus to approach Crown Fibre Holdings to discuss specific provisions within the UFB contract.

"We know that we can't legislate for a different price but what we can do is potentially look at the contract that exists between Crown Fibre Holdings an Chorus,'' Mr Key said.

"It could see a deal structured, I wouldn't necessarily want to go through that today, there are a number of potential options available.''

He would not say whether this would mean more taxpayer dollars being spent on the project.

"In the end, it's inevitable that the Government, if it wants to see ultra-fast broadband completed on time, will have to renegotiate that contract through Crown Fibre Holdings.''


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