Kiwis opting for gigabit broadband over 100 Mbps service

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Kiwis opting for gigabit broadband over 100 Mbps service

Big speed step-up at small premium for fibre customers.

ASX-listed network wholesaler Chorus says New Zealand broadband customers are increasingly picking gigabit subscriptions over 100 Mbps offerings, as streaming video services with 4K ultra-high definition with that demand greater bandwidth become commonplace.

Chorus's chief executive, former Telstra veteran JB Rousselot, said that 13 per cent of its fibre customers have opted for gigabit service over government and privately funded Ultra-Fast Broadband network.

On the New Zealand passive optic fibre to the premises network, gigabit service translates to 900 Mbps downloads and 500 Mbps uploads.

Whereas internet providers in New Zealand offer unlimited 100/20 Mbps FTTP plans for between NZ$65 to $85 a month (A$62.25-A$81.40), gigabit options are now available from NZ$85 a month.

"Our market-led focus on encouraging the uptake of gigabit broadband plans is changing the perception of what stress-free broadband looks like.

Now everyone can be streaming online TV simultaneously without the worry of buffering or a data cap being breached," Rousselot said.

Chorus which was spun off from incumbent Telecom New Zealand (now Spark) was awarded 69 per cent of the nationwide FTTP rollout area when UFB started in 2010 and has now passed 1.2 million homes and businesses with the fibre network.

Along with UFB wholesalers Northpower, Ultra Fast Fibre and Enable, Chorus will from this year offer XG-PON or 10 Gbps FTTP for businesses.

Inititally, the XG-PON service will come in 2 and 4 Gbps symmetric flavours, with 8 Gbps to arrive later this year.

For the first half of the 2020 financial year, Chorus reported a small after tax net profit increase, going from NZ$30 million to NZ$31 million.

Earnings before tax rose to NZ$332 million from NZ$318 million the year before, as Chorus cut operating costs and enjoyed strong growth in new broadband connections.

Following the latest results, Chorus has revised its EBITDA guidance from NZ$625-NZ$645 million ot NZ$640-NZ$655 million, with gross capital expenditure unchanged at NZ$660-NZ$700 million for the full 2020 financial year.

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