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Tenders Invited For Broadband Technology Pilots

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand is another step closer to ultra-fast broadband with tenders invited today for pilots of alternative deployment techniques for optic fibre.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is part of the Deployment Standards Initiative being undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Economic Development, Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH), and the Digital Auckland Working Party (DAWP). The project is running in parallel to the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiatives to facilitate the roll-out of broadband infrastructure.

Proposals are sought for the provision of seven pilots, for deployment types including mini-trenching, micro-trenching, pipe insertion, aerial and directional drilling. The pilots are expected to begin before Christmas.

Bidders are invited to form consortia, which could include councils, deployment technology providers and civil engineering contractors, working together at a variety of locations throughout New Zealand.

"These pilots will test various techniques and shape the standards that will guide the roll-out of broadband to urban and rural areas," said Bruce Parkes, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry's Energy and Communications Branch. "I would like to acknowledge DAWP for initiating the project, and the work of the Deployment Standards Initiative project team for developing a framework which, once applied, will provide consistency over the rules and standards that will be applied to fibre optic deployment that forms part of the UFB Initiative and the Rural Broadband Initiative."

"It's pleasing to see progress towards finalising deployment standards as we proceed with the UFB Initiative," said CFH Chief Executive Graham Mitchell. "Crown Fibre Holdings is delighted to see strong interest and co-operation in this space. We encourage continued participation by fibre companies, telecommunications providers, local authorities, roading controllers and other interested parties."

It is intended that the standards arising from successful pilots will be incorporated into a national utilities code, which will have regulation status under the Utilities Access Act 2010.

Information on the RFP process is available from the Ministry's website at www.med.govt.nz/facilitating-broadband. Proposals are due by 5.00pm, Tuesday 26 October 2010. Intending participants should download the RFP from www.gets.govt.nz.

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