Telecom wins box seat for chunk of UFB; Enabled Networks and Flute JV flagged for South Island
By Jason Krupp
Dec. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Crown Fibre Holdings has earmarked Telecom Corp., Enabled Networks and Flute Joint Venture as
prioritised bidders for the remaining $1.15 billion rollout of government's ultrafast broadband initiative.
Telecom is the frontrunner for 25 regions, including the all-important Auckland market after earlier missing out on the
first round of prioritised bids. The country’s biggest phone company offered a number of variations in its bid to tap
the government funds, and will expect some regulatory relief as part of any successful deal. If Telecom eventually wins
the tender, which is still to be finalised, it will have to win shareholder approval to carve out the Chorus network
unit into a separate entity
Enabled Networks will likely cover Christchurch and Rangiora, while Flute JV represented by Aurora Energy Ltd. will
cover Dunedin. Northland and Central North Island areas were already awarded to Ultrafast Fibre Ltd. and Northpower Ltd.
last week. Alpine Energy Ltd. has also been selected as a prioritised bidder for Timaru, however government is still
waiting for a binding offer from the company.
"These three parties have provided attractive proposals to Crown Fibre Holdings, including a combination of access
prices in line with those announced last week, the ability to complete the UFB build within the Government’s allocated
budget, as well as having industry experience and financial strength,” CFH chairman Simon Allen said in a statement.
CFH said negotiations with the three prioritised bidders will start today, but left the door open for discussions with
bidders previously shortlisted. These include Central Fibre Consortium, City Link Ltd., Electra Ltd., Electricity
Ashburton, Flute JV for Queenstown and Invercargill, Network Tasman Ltd., Network Waitaki Ltd., Vector Ltd., and
It added that it was also open to the parties partnering in their candidate areas if it delivered greater infrastructure