The Government has announced that Telecom has won most of the remaining areas for fibre to the home rollout. This includes Auckland and Wellington, but in Christchurch and Dunedin the local lines companies are still in the running, with both them and Telecom proceeding to negotiations.
This is pretty exciting, as it means Telecom will structurally separate, with Chorus becoming a standalone telecommunications infrastructure company. This will be the most important change in the telco sector for a generation. The details of how the separation occurs will be crucial in determining how beneficial this is.
Vector will feel hard done by, but that is the nature of a tender process. Their involvement has probably meant the bid by Telecom is significantly better for taxpayers than would otherwise have been the case.
Telecom will be pleased to have won the bulk of the country, but not be that happy that they may not end up with Christchurch and Dunedin – they’ll need sharp pencils.
So the overall picture is:
* Hamilton, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Tokoroa, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Hawera & Wanganui – WEL Networks
* Whangarei – Northpower
* Dunedin – Aurora Energy
* Christchurch, Rangiora – Enable or Telecom
* Timaru – Alpine Energy or Telecom
* Elsewhere – Telecom