Spark’s joint Fibre build gains traction in Taranaki
Image: Spark is partnering with Chorus, Transpower and Powerco to bring 286km more fibre to the region. From left
Connect 8 Chief Executive Officer Ray O’Regan, Spark Fibre Capability Manager Paul Leith, Powerco GM Asset Management
and Network Transformation Ryno Verster, Powerco Chief Information Officer Brigitte Colombo and Spark GM Physical
Infrastructure Rob Berrill
Spark announced today plans to work in partnership with Chorus, Transpower and Powerco to extend the backhaul fibre
infrastructure in the Taranaki region.
The Spark led initiative is one of the largest multi-party on land fibre infrastructure projects to date, with work
beginning south of New Plymouth in Eltham recently.
It’s the second joint build Spark has undertaken as part of its Fibre Collaboration plan which aims to get
telecommunications and utility companies working together to reduce the cost of infrastructure development, provide more
resilient local and national fibre networks, and reduce frustration to residents caused by roads being dug up multiple
With a joint investment of about $20 million, the build will add 286km of fibre to Spark’s backbone fibre infrastructure
Spark’s National Fibre Network is the backbone of the company’s network.
Spark is one of New Zealand’s largest investors in fibre optic infrastructure with over 8,300km of fibre and believes
that through a new collaboration process, it could significantly increase the usual level of fibre deployment, with no
pass-through of costs to the consumer.
Spark owns its own network of high speed fibre around the country, mostly between towns and on main arterial routes
providing backhaul for data traffic and mobile sites. This differs from the fibre in residential areas which is laid by
other network providers as part of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative.
Spark’s General Manager of Physical Infrastructure Rob Berrill says joint fibre deployment projects like this one prove
there are opportunities for telcos and utility companies to work more efficiently together to benefit all New
The goal of the Fibre Community Collaboration project is to transparently outline Spark’s fibre plans to encourage wider
collaboration, ultimately delivering a higher level ofconnectivity, and less disruption to New Zealanders.
“Our fibre network has been constructed over the last 30 years by a combination of solo and joint builds. Typically,
we’ve kept these plans confidential due to commercial sensitivity, but we believe the long-term opportunity to
collaborate with others outweighs any short-term commercial considerations. Collaborating on the build process allows us
to share the large costs, and minimise environmental and civil disruptions, like road works. We know how frustrating it
can be when the same stretch of road is dug up numerous times. Collaboration also means multiple projects can be under
construction at the same time.”
“There will always be some circumstances where infrastructure will need to be built in the same place twice. But by
co-ordinating and disclosing our plans we hope to minimise this disruption and share costs.”