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Current as of 24/01/17 07:39PM NZST
Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Palmerston North wins Chorus fibre race

Palmerston North, Auckland and Wellington are leading the way in signing up to Chorus' ultra-fast broadband network.
Palmerston North, Auckland and Wellington are leading the way in signing up to Chorus' ultra-fast broadband network.

Palmerston North has the highest uptake of Chorus' ultra-fast broadband, with the listed company almost a third of the way through its part of the infrastructure project.

As at June 30, close to ten per cent of those who could connect to Chorus' leg of the UFB scheme in Palmerston North had hooked up to it.

Auckland and Wellington have the next highest rate of uptake within Chorus' UFB build area and are both close to 9 per cent.

In the UFB programme, the Government is part-funding the rollout of fibre internet lines to 75 per cent of the country and involves four private partners, Chorus, Northpower, UltraFast Fibre and Enable Networks.

Chorus is rolling out the lion's share of the scheme and is responsible for 69 per cent of the build.

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The NZX-listed company said today, when reporting its full-year result, that its fibre rollout was ahead of schedule and 31 per cent complete as at June 30.

While Chorus' build in towns like Timaru, Blenheim and Oamaru were more than 86 per cent complete, Auckland and Wellington are only 25 per cent through the rollout.

Chorus said the uptake of UFB varied widely across its build areas.

While Palmerston North led the way for uptake in Chorus' UFB zones, Kapiti's and Taupo's uptake rate was less than 1 per cent.

Just over 350,000 "end users" were in reach of Chorus UFB, the company said today.

This includes 57,000 "priority users" , such as schools and hospitals.

Chorus has 42,000 fibre connections nationwide and 27,000 of these are within the UFB footprint.

As at June 30, close to 520,000 households, businesses, schools and health centres are able to connect to UFB across the country, including in Chorus' build area.

Almost 40,000 of these users had actually hooked up to the network, an uptake rate of 7.6 per cent.

See Chorus' latest financial results presentation with a geographical breakdown of UFB uptake here:

- NZ Herald

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