A successful high-speed broadband rollout requires a good company culture and commitment, Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie told Broadband World Forum attendees in Berlin today.
"Buy-in from regulators is critical. The culture of your company, customer focus and branding all contribute to success," she told the large audience at BBWF 2018.
The New Zealand open access Internet network wholesaler has rolled out fiber to 70% of the country and claims to be on target to hit 87% by 2022. Chorus supports regions that don't yet have fiber with a combination of VDSL and ADSL2+. However, McKenzie said: "It is not all about the technology, but about what people are looking for from us." (See Chorus CEO: In Sync With High-Speed Broadband.)
One of the biggest challenges is "managing demand for our products," she explained.
Practically every organization and individual in New Zealand has felt the impact of high-speed broadband, Chorus' CEO said. From schools to business, the digital export economy grew 8% last year and is now the oceanic island nation's third biggest export, following agriculture and tourism. Today, digital is a source of income and a new area for educators and students to focus on, for example. Likewise, digital startups spring up and legacy corporations seek ways to incorporate this opportunity into their operations, while service providers support them and investigate ways to undergo their own digital transformations.
With the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year, New Zealanders have clamored to ensure they have the right connection to watch it live via OTT services from NZ Telco Spark. In turn, this increased demand for Chorus's 100Mbit/s plan, McKenzie said.
Chorus, though, is a wholesaler and there are more than 90 providers in the market. "It's probably too many, but it makes for a highly competitive market," she explained.
This competition helps drive uptake of high-speed broadband -- and the price point. A 100MBps plan is less than 2% of household income, said McKenzie.
While McKenzie said Chorus' 2022 target broadband deployment figure is well on track, it is now looking to other future goals.
"We have a 4k video strategy underway and have been looking at how we can support the 5G rollout. Like most, we have also looked at IoT, but the business model doesn't quite add up there yet," she noted.
Technologies may change but one critical ingredient is constant for McKenzie and Chorus.
"It is very important for us to have a voice. It is important for us to have a good reputation as a brand for consumers. Culture is important if you are going to have a sustainable rollout," she said.
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