Chorus reveals $64 million profit as fibre rollout nears completion in New Zealand

Fibre in Auckland
About 15 percent of customers are using more than 1000 Gb of data per month. Photo credit: Getty Images

Internet infrastructure company Chorus has revealed its fibre rollout in Aotearoa is 98 percent complete as it heads towards more than a million UFB (ultra fast broadband) connections.

The company also revealed a net profit for the FY22 year of $64 million, based on revenue of $965 million.

"FY22 was a crossroads year for Chorus with the finish line in sight for our 11-year fibre rollout," CEO JB Rousselot said.

That included a big boost to speed plans last December, which has helped move Aotearoa up the global broadband rankings.

According to the company, almost 70 percent of residential fibre users went from 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps during the company's Big Fibre Boost at the end of 2021. Another 23 percent of consumers are now on 1 Gbps plans.

"In the latest global fixed broadband rankings from Ookla, New Zealand has moved up two places to 10th; we were 29th in July 2021. This shift puts us just behind Japan," Rousselot said.

Chorus said its transition from building the network to becoming more operation was "well underway", with a refreshed focus to "to connect Aotearoa so that we can all live, learn, work and play".

"Our fibre rollout is now 98 percent complete, and we have just 17,000 premises left to pass by Christmas," Rousselot said.

"We added 88,000 new fibre connections to the network, and overall uptake increased from 65 percent to 69 percent."

There was big growth in Auckland and Wellington, the company said, with uptake increasing to 79 percent and 68 percent respectively.

With the increased speeds it comes as no surprise that the amount of data being consumed has also significantly increased.

Data on the network jumped by 23 percent over the year, the equivalent of 1.3 billion gigabytes of data. The monthly average household data usage for a fibre user increased from 500 GB) to 567 GB.

"Remarkably, about 15 percent of fibre consumers are already using more than 1000 GB of data a month, and we're forecasting that to be the average residential household usage by 2025," Rousselot said.

"It's clear that we’re now far more reliant on our internet connections. The experience of the last couple of years has taught us that reliable internet access, at gigabit speed, is no longer a luxury.

"Our multi-gigabit Hyperfibre services are now gaining traction with more than 1000 primarily residential connections, and we expect Hyperfibre’s uptake to mirror that of our gigabit service."

In May, Chorus trialled a 25 Gbps service substantiating fibre as the most cost-effective and scalable broadband technology.

"We demonstrated a 25 Gbps service that seamlessly integrates with existing gigabit and Hyperfibre services on the same fibre strand," Rousselot said.

"This will allow service providers to upgrade their customers on demand in the future."