18 Sep 2010

Joyce looks for cost-efficiency in ultra-fast rollout

2:31 pm on 18 September 2010

Communications Minister Steven Joyce says it makes sense to incorporate existing networks into the rollout of ultra-fast broadband throughout the country.

Speaking at an ultra-fast broadband conference in Auckland, Mr Joyce told the audience the biggest challenge the Government faces in achieving its objective is the cost of deploying the fibre infrastructure.

Telecom, which is one of the 14 shortlisted bidders, has proposed using its existing national fibre network to save money, arguing that it wouldn't be economic otherwise.

Mr Joyce says the Government is seeking the most cost-efficient way of deploying fibre, with the aim of creating a single national standard. That, he says, will not only help to reduce the total cost but will minimise disruption.

The conference is hosted by the Chinese telecommunications infrastructure company Huawei, which hopes to become the main supplier of equipment to the winning bidders.