9 Jul 2013

Super-fast broadband product launched

9:45 am on 9 July 2013

Telecom has launched a new broadband product that it says will make download speeds three to four times faster.

The very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line, or ultra-VDSL, works on traditional copper phone lines and is available to about 60% of Telecom's customers for an installation fee of $99.

Telecom says ultra-VDSL is a stepping stone to speedier fibre optic services available through the ultra-fast broadband network.

The company's retail chief executive, Chris Quin, says it will be ideal for customers who want to watch English Premier League football matches online.

However, telecommunications analyst Paul Budde says ultra-VDSL customers may not bother switching to the ultra-fast broadband network as it becomes available and that could make UFB obsolete.

He says the Government may need to introduce regulation to ensure customers switch to the UFB network where they can.

Chorus 'on track' with UFB work

Meanwhile the telecommunications infrastructure company Chorus says it plans to have more than half a million customers connected to the UFB network by 2016.

The company has announced the areas in which it'll be laying fibre optic cable between 2014 and 2016, and corporate affairs manager Ian Bonnar says it's on track with its part of the network's construction.

Mr Bonnar says it's the largest civil engineering project undertaken in New Zealand for 30 years.

He says Chorus is due to complete construction of the UFB network in 2019, which will connect 75% of the population.