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Visionstream gets more Chorus fibre work

NZN 6/10/2016 Paul McBeth

Chorus has handed more of its New Zealand ultrafast broadband network building work to Australia's Visionstream, while warning the cost of the project will be at the top end of its projected range.

The Wellington-based company appointed Visionstream to take over work that had previously been done by engineering firm Downer, which elected not to retender for the contract, it sai.

That means Visionstream will cover 80 pe rcent of Chorus's UFB areas, with the rest done by Broadspectrum and UCG.

Chorus also said it expected the cost the project to be at the top end of its guidance of $900-to-$1,100 per standard residential premise passed, in 2011 dollars.

"Fibre uptake is significantly ahead of expectations and given related mobilisation costs in a time of relatively full employment, Chorus expects to be able to hold average connection costs per unit flat in nominal terms across the term of this contract," it said.

In August, Downer said it wouldn't retender for the fibre installation work, preferring to concentrate on the copper network and communal UFB build, and had already been dropped from fibre work in Wellington, Kapiti and Manawatu earlier this year.

When reporting its annual result in August, Chorus still estimated the cost of the UFB communal network to be between $1.75 billion and $1.8 billion. As at June 30, it was 57 per cent of the way through with almost 831,000 premises passed.

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