FTTH Council APAC: Notes from New Zealand

Julie Kunstler/Ovum
The annual FTTH Council Asia Pacific Conference got under way on May 19 in Auckland, New Zealand, with a series of workshops followed by the official opening ceremony on May 20.
It is the eighth conference for this Council and, as in the past, this conference is influenced by the status of FTTH deployments in the host country. There is positive energy here due to New Zealand’s Ultrafast Broadband Initiative, which is making good progress.
First, fairness pays off
There were grumblings in May 2012 when Auckland was announced as the Council’s host city for the 2013 conference. After all, New Zealand is far to travel for many council delegates. But in fairness, the Council’s board of directors believes that every country with active members should have a chance to host.
The event is packed. Council members from Japan, India, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Taiwan, and the Philippines are here in force. Add vendors from North America, Europe, and Asia along with many delegates from New Zealand, and we have standing room only in some venues.
New Zealand’s Ultrafast Broadband Initiative is happening
New Zealand’s Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) Initiative is a government program to expand and develop New Zealand’s broadband services. By 2020, 75% of New Zealanders will be connected to ultrafast broadband.
Crown Fibre Holdings monitors the deployment and contracts with local fiber companies that are rolling out the new network in partnership with the government. According to Graham Mitchell, Crown Fibre’s CEO, 98% of all schools should be fiber-connected by May 2014.
New Zealand’s Ultrfast Broadband Initiative is based on separation of the fiber pipe builders from the services providers, also known as a wholesale-retail model.