Vodafone New Zealand and Canada’s Axia NetMedia have teamed up to jointly bid for a piece of the state-backed Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative (UFB).
The New Zealand government is investing up to NZ$1.5 billion ($1.08b) in open-access, dark-fiber infrastructure to accelerate the rollout of high-speed broadband to 75% of New Zealanders over ten years.
It is essentially a fiber-to-the-premise broadband service that will provide downlink speeds of at least 100Mbps and uplink speeds of at least 50Mbps.
Vodafone-Axia is seeking government funds to operate a national ultra-fast broadband network that will sit on top of already deployed fiber infrastructure, according to the NZ Herald.
Vodafone NZ CEO Russell Stanners says the alliance would enable Vodafone to take part in the UFB project as a retail provider.
“Mobile companies are one of the biggest users of fiber in the world – we need it to connect our cellsites together,” stated Stanners.
Axia has partnered with SingTel to roll out the underlying infrastructure for Singapore’s government-backed next-gen broadband network.