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Sunday, 05 December 2010 08:07

NZ businesses eagerly awaiting FTTH network

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A survey of New Zealand businesses on their attitudes to the Ultrafast Broadband Network - the country's version of Australia's National Broadband Network - has found over 80 percent of respondents likely to take up the service in the first year it becomes available, but wanting more information about speed and pricing.

The survey "UFB in Business: Seizing the Opportunity" was conducted by Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH), the New Zealand equivalent of NBN Co, and the Telecommunications Association of NZ (TUANZ). TUANZ said it had been conducted in October in response to feedback received at several workshops run by CFH and TUANZ for potential users of UFB in the business sector.

Unlike NBN Co, CFH will not be a network operator. It is a government-owned investment vehicle that will fund a number of network owners and operators that will rollout the UFB in different parts of the country. The aim is to connect fibre to 75 percent of New Zealand homes and businesses within 10 years.

When asked about their likelihood to connect to UFB within a year of it being available, 82 percent of all respondents said they were likely, highly likely or definitely would connect.

ï‚· Respondents said that key areas where improved speeds and data capacity under UFB would have a 'great' or 'good" effect on their current business model included staff productivity (75 percent), future strategy (70 percent) and staff location (59 percent).

"New Zealand businesses are looking forward to using UFB to increase their productivity and access improved applications. We are certainly seeing a good level of demand, but most businesses seem to need more information on how they can use UFB to improve their productivity," said Pat O'Connell, chair of TUANZ.

"Around 60 percent of respondents want to receive more information and advice on how to make use of UFB, but right now they're very focussed on speed and price. Considering that over half of responses came from businesses with more than 100 employees, it would appear that smaller businesses need to get more engaged in preparing for UFB."

O'Connell concluded: "This is the perfect opportunity for New Zealand businesses to completely redesign the way they work, the way they interact with suppliers and customers, they way they conduct business on the global stage."

CFH has promised that more information about the initiative, including wholesale and retail pricing, packages and availability, will become available as the UFB rollout gets underway from December 2010, and throughout 2011.

In summary, the survey found that:

ï‚· Respondents believe applications likely to be enabled by UFB include collaboration tools including high definition video-conferencing (70 percent), VoIP (70 percent), cloud computing (69 percent) and remote working (65 percent).

ï‚· Respondents mostly want more information on UFB pricing (81 percent), performance guarantees (77 percent), UFB speeds (76 percent) and deployment timeframes (72.5 percent).

ï‚· The greatest barriers to taking up UFB services are believed to be price (85 percent) and accessibility (55 percent).

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