Chorus reveals UFB schedule for 2012

NZ network operator Chorus will commence construction of the nation's UFB fibre network in six more towns this year, and aims to have passed 149,000 premises by mid-2013

New Zealand telecom network infrastructure operator Chorus (ASX:CNU) has confirmed it will start building the nation's Ultrafast Broadband network in six more towns this year.

The company, which was spun off from Telecom NZ last year, said it would commence construction in Invercargill, Nelson, Oamaru, Queenstown, Timaru and Whakatane.

Chorus revealed that with the new towns, and the extension of the fibre network in the first-release sites, the company aims to have delivered fibre past 149,000 premises by June 2013.

By the end of 2019, the company aims to have deployed UFB fibre past around 830,000 homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and medical facilities by the end of 2019.

CEO Mark Ratcliffe said Chorus is currently laying 50km of fibre per week. The company last week listed 502 schools which will receive UFB fibre between July 2012 and June 2013.

Chorus was separated from Telecom NZ in November-December last year, after it was selected to cover the majority of work in the build-out of the UFB fibre network.

Telecom NZ had offered to separate from its network business in its UFB bid, because like Telstra in Australia, government and the telecom industry had long been concerned about the operator's market dominance. Its bid would likely have been rejected were it not for this concession.

CNU shares grew 1.95 per cent in Thursday's trading to $2.610.

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