Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...

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Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
Championing better broadband for New Zealand                                 2019 / ISSUE 9

          Communications Minister Kris Faafoi
           wants every New Zealander to benefit
               from faster internet connections

       ESPORTS                 FREEVIEW            INSPIRE NET       BROUGHT TO YOU BY
   Online gaming goes      Broadcast television   20 years from
      professional            moves online        dial-up to fibre
Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
Contents                                                                                                     2019 / ISSUE 9


The Network is the Computer
In Brief
Security fears, installs peak,
UFB wireless link

10Gbps Fibre
Chorus is testing the world's fastest
residential broadband

Freeview launches a

streaming service
that could see an                                  COVER STORY
end to satellite                                   A new Telecommunications Act and issues concerning 5G will keep the
dishes and aerials                                 Communications Minister busy. He also wants to close the digital divide

                                           Re:Mobile                            28
                                           Recycling used mobile phones
                                           22                                  ESPORTS
                                           Fibre Unbundling                    Professional
                                           What is it? Why might it matter?    gaming has
                                           24                                  become a
                                           Inspire Net                         spectator sport
                                           Twenty years of pushing at
                                           technology's edge
An innovative approach to filling
the gaps in rural broadband and
phone coverage

Rugby World Cup
The pressure is on
18                                                                                                    Bill Bennett is still
MyRepublic                                                                                            waiting for the virtual
Asia-Pacific's regional service provider                                                              reality revolution

Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
The Download | Editorial                                                                 1

Bill Bennett

                                       The Network is
Chorus Editorial Consultants
Ian Bonnar, Steve Pettigrew,
Holly Cushen

                                       the Computer
Scott Bartley, Heather Wright,
Hadyn Green, Johanna Egar,
Holly Cushen, Sarah Putt
Senior Account Director
LauraGrace McFarland
Jessie Marsh, Julian Pettitt
Account Executive
Paige Fleming
On the cover                           IF THE HEADLINE is familiar, it could be because   they were slow. Often you would use a dial-up
Photograph by Nicola Edmonds           you’ve been around networks and computers          connection with a pre-digital acoustic modem.
                                       for a long time. The term pre-dates Ultra-Fast        If you were lucky and had a reasonable budget
                                       Broadband. It even pre-dates the Internet.         you might have been able to afford an ISDN
                                          The words are almost forgotten. Yet they        (Integrated Services Digital Network) line. This
Published by ICG                       are more relevant and more potent today than       was usually a digital copper link that could run at
PO Box 77027, Mt Albert
Auckland 1350, New Zealand             ever before.                                       64 or 128 kilobits per second.
www.icg.co.nz                             They date back to 1984 and a company called        To put ISDN in perspective, Chorus is testing
ISSN 2624-1137 (Print)                 Sun Microsystems. At the time, Sun sold a range    10Gbps. It’s a technology that residential
ISSN 2624-1145 (Online)
                                       of expensive, powerful graphics workstations.      customers may soon use to move data at around
                                       They were more powerful than that era’s            100,000 times the data speed of ISDN.
                                       personal computers. Yet that was never enough         Although the networks were slow, client-server
The Download is championed by
                                       for the engineers                                                              computing was a huge
PO Box 632, Wellington 6140            and scientists                                                                 breakthrough. It paved
www.chorus.co.nz                       who used them                                                                  the way for everything
The contents of The Download
                                       to process huge     'To put ISDN in perspective,                               connected computers
                                       data volumes.                                                                  and phones do now.
are protected by copyright. Please
feel free to use the information          In those days,  Chorus is testing 10Gbps. It's a                            Along the way, we
in this issue of The Download,
with attribution to The Download       there were small    technology that residential                                stopped talking about
                                       computers – PCs                                                                mainframes and
                                                             customers may soon use
by Chorus New Zealand Limited.
Opinions expressed in The Download
                                       and graphic                                                                    minicomputers. We
                                                              to move data at around
are not necessarily those of the
publisher or the editor. Information   workstations – and                                                             call today’s bigger
contained in The Download is           big computers, the                                                             computers ‘servers’.
correct at the time of printing and
                                       mainframes and
                                                             100,000 times the speed'                                    We also have server
while all due care and diligence
has been taken in the preparation      minicomputers.                                                                 farms and cloud
of this magazine, the publisher is
not responsible for any mistakes,
                                          Small computers could, in theory, communicate   computing. In essence, cloud computing is the
omissions, typographical errors or     with big computers. It didn’t happen often.        client-server’s great-grandchild.
changes to product and service         Instead, the two types of machines lived most of      Today, the network is very much the computer.
descriptions over time.
                                       their working lives in different worlds.           Want to know something? Use Google or
                                          Then something emerged called client-server     Wikipedia’s networked computers. Want to
                                       computing. I’m simplifying here. The idea was      process numbers? Buy cloud computer time from
                                       that small computers could hand off heavy-duty     Amazon or a local cloud vendor. Want to run
                                       data processing to larger computers. At the same   accounts? Use Xero’s networked computers.
                                       time, big computers could hand off the graphics       Sun Microsystems understood that in 1984.
                                       processing needed to display the fruits of their   The company never made it to the promised land.
                                       labour to smaller computers.                       It was wiped out when rivals learned to make
Connect with us
Facebook.com/ChorusNZ                     Most of the time, client-server networks were   servers from cheap, commoditised hardware. It
Twitter/ChorusNZ                       local. They might cover a single building, a       got that strategy wrong, but it saw the potential of
Chorus NZ Limited on LinkedIn
                                       factory site or a campus.                          networking long before anyone else.
                                          When there were wide-area networks, they
www.thedownload.co.nz                  were exotic and expensive. By today’s standards    Bill Bennett

                                                               2019 / Issue 9
Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...

    In brief
    Security fears widespread, safeguards scare
    Research commissioned by InternetNZ           the negatives. When asked to name those
    found 94 percent of New Zealanders            benefits, 83 percent named having access
    are concerned about the security of           to information.
    their personal data. The number comes            Andrew Cushen, InternetNZ's outreach
    from the organisation's annual survey of      and engagement director says: "As more
    internet attitudes.                           and more of our lives are spent on the
       Although New Zealanders worry about        Internet, being able to access information
    data security, most don't do anything         online has now become a necessity.
    about it. Researchers found few users            "This is why it’s so important that we
    take practical steps to protect themselves    continue to try and close digital divides
    from risk.                                    in New Zealand. Every New Zealander
       Only one-third of New Zealanders           deserves the opportunity to harness the
    surveyed used account authentication,         power of the Internet".
    either two-factor or multi-factor.               Cushen says people not protecting
    Meanwhile less than half make                 themselves online is something we need                        Andrew Cushen
    regular backups.                              to improve if New Zealanders are to stay                  INTERNETNZ'S OUTREACH AND
       There is concern about children            safe online.                                                 ENGAGEMENT DIRECTOR

    being able to see inappropriate content          He says: "We all need to take personal
    online. The survey found this worries 92      responsibility for our safety on the internet".   content and what to do if they come across
    percent of those questioned. There are           The concern over inappropriate content         anything upsetting. Cushen says: "We need
    positives. Nine out of ten respondents told   is a reminder that families should talk to        to ensure that people of all ages feel safe
    InternetNZ internet benefits outweigh         each other about the different types of           on the Internet."

       RBI WORK
       Chorus and Nokia won the Best Broadband
       Delivering Social Impact award at the Broadband
       World Forum in Germany. The award is for the two
       companies’ work on the Rural Broadband Initiative.
          This included upgrading 1200 rural cabinets.
       The pair also delivered fibre to 1000 rural
       schools and upgraded internet speeds for
       110,000 households.
          Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie says: “Chorus’
       key target of connecting all rural schools was
       particularly satisfying, as this has resulted in a
       major long-term benefit to the nation. We are
       particularly pleased to observe the strong take
       up of fibre by schools across the country."
          One of the side benefits of connecting rural
       schools is that it enabled Chorus to build
       fibre-to-the-home connections for many
       rural communities.

Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
The Download | In brief                                                       3

Fibre connections on the Chorus               There is a clear move to faster plans   Most of this is down to the rise in
network peaked in the first quarter to      and greater data use. The number of       streaming video. This is reflected in
September 2018. During this period          gigabit fibre connections on the Chorus   time-of-day statistics, which show
Chorus installed a record 46,000            network now stands at 44,000. That is     average throughput on the network
fibre connections. A further 38,000         up 22 percent on the previous quarter.    now peaks at around 8.30pm
connections were added in the second        Chorus says most connections, about       in the evening.
quarter to December.                        71 percent of the total, are now on
   By the end of the year, fibre uptake     100Mbps or greater.
had climbed to 51 percent, with demand        About seven in 10 broadband
stronger than during the same period        connections are on unlimited data
in 2017. With 517,000 connections on        plans. This reflects the increased
fibre, these now make up a third of all     amount of data consumed per
Chorus’ 1.5 million connections.            connection. In the December quarter,
   Slower speed copper ADSL                 the average data consumed across
connections have fallen by 25 percent       the network was 235GB,
for Chorus in the past year. There are      up from 221GB in the
now 374,000 connections. Some of this       September quarter.
is down to customers moving to the            Chorus says fibre
faster VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate digital     users now average
subscriber line) technology, or to fibre.   315GB per month.

    BY THE                                      BROADBAND TO REACH
   NUMBERS                                      99.8 PERCENT IN FOUR YEARS
                                                Extensions to phase two of the Rural Broadband
                                                Initiative and the Mobile Black Spots programme are
             7 percent                          set to extend New Zealand's broadband coverage
of Australian broadband users subscribed
   to 100Mbps services, compared to             to 99.8 percent of the population within four years.

  29 percent                                       Crown Infrastructure Partners has signed contracts
                                                worth $130 million to provide improved broadband
      of New Zealanders                         services for around 10,000 rural homes and businesses.
                                                   The extensions will also see another 365km of state
                                                highways have mobile coverage. Of that, around
       UFB CONNECTIONS SAW A                    100km will be added on the West Coast. A further

10.5 percent                                    59 tourism areas around the country will also
                                                get mobile coverage.
                                                   Eight new regional wireless internet
        AND SEPTEMBER 2018                      service providers or WISPs will join
                                                the nine who are already taking
                                                part in the RBI extension
   In the September 2018 Broadband
  Deployment Update the UFB network             programme.
    reported 47.7 PERCENT uptake.
The Rural Broadband Initiative uptake was

      Data from the S&P Global market
       intelligence report June 2018.

                                                       2019 / Issue 9
Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
4                                                       The Download | In brief

       Chorus is testing Nokia's WPON              antenna connected to their indoor               Chorus says that in testing, WPON
       (Wireless Passive Optical Network).         router by an Ethernet cable.                 manages a speed of around 1.6Gbps over
       It's a wireless technology that connects       The system uses unlicensed                150m. The theoretical maximum speed
       the fibre network in a street to a home     frequencies in the 60GHz spectrum.           is 3Gbps. In other words it can work
       or business when a direct physical          This is the mmWave or V band. Typically      with any existing UFB plan although,
       connection isn't practical.                 radio waves at these frequencies are         as things stand, it is not suitable for the
          Among other places WPON solves           absorbed by the air and can be subject       10Gbps service that is now being tested.
       many of the problems with apartment         to rain fade. They are often blocked by         Ed Hyde, Chorus chief customer
       buildings and other multiple dwelling       trees. While communications in this          officer, says WPON is a useful tool in
       units. It also bypasses obstacles like      band are line of sight only, the distances   his company's toolbox and builds on
       installing fibre along rights of way or     are small, a few hundred metres at most,     other recent innovations such as 10Gbps
       getting past difficult neighbours. Chorus   which minimises the disruption from air      services and lower price gigabit services.
       also sees it being used for places like     or water molecules.
       business parks.
          Nokia's WPON uses the WiGig
       standard. That's 802.11ad. The same
       technology is sometimes used to
       extend the performance of indoor
       Wi-Fi networks.
          A WPON access point can be attached
       to an access point on an existing
       telephone pole or lamp post. This
       connects direct to the fibre running in
       the street. Customers need an outdoor

    Growth Fund
    to connect
    marae to net
    Government will spend $21 million of the
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) connecting
    marae to the internet and establishing a
    network of ‘regional digital hubs’.
      These hubs will be places where people
    who may not have internet access can
    get online. They will offer Wi-Fi and
    co-working spaces.
      The $21 million for regional hubs is on
    top of the $80 million set aside earlier
                                                                                                                                              IMAGE BY SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

    to boost the second phase of the Rural
    Broadband Initiative and the Mobile
    Blackspot fund. Prime Minister Jacinda
    Ardern says it is part of the government's
    commitment to bridging the digital divide.
      The first marae to receive PGF funding for
    digital connectivity are Oromahoe (Te Tai
    Tokerau), Te Houhanga (Te Tai Tokerau) and
    Raupunga Te Huki (Heretaunga).

Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...

Research company Gartner forecasts
that New Zealanders will spend $13.5
billion on technology products and
services this year. That's up 2.6 percent
on last year. Gartner says the total will
reach $13.9 billion next year. With a
spend of $4.4 billion, communications
services, which was previously the top
category, is now second behind IT
services. Thanks to cloud computing,
IT services will be worth $4.5 billion.

                                                                                              APPOINTS MARK
                                                                                               AUE AS CHIEF
                                                                                                    Mark Aue has replaced Stewart
                                                                                                  Sherriff as 2degrees' new chief
                                                                                                   executive. Sherriff has retired.
                                                                                                    Aue has been the telco's chief
                                                                                              financial officer since July 2018, when
                                                                                             he joined the company. Before moving
                                                                                            to 2degrees he was the CFO at Vodafone
                                                                                             New Zealand. Has has previously had
                                                                                              management roles at Vodafone in the
                                                                                            UK and was a director for Vodafone Fiji.
                                                                                                  2degrees Chairman Brad Horwitz
                                                                                                says Aue's appointment follows an
                                                                                                       international search.

Commerce Commission
seeks better reporting
A new Commerce Commission paper shows how the regulator plans to monitor
how telcos perform when it comes to customer service. Telecommunications
commissioner Stephen Gale says: “Retail telecommunications is a Commission
priority, in particular in the areas of billing, switching, contract terms and marketing.
Parliament has now given us more tools to improve retail service quality and
safeguard consumers."
   The recently passed Telecommunications Amendment Act means the Commission
has to monitor retail service quality. This includes performance, speed and availability,
customer service and billing and installation issues. It also means telcos must                           Mark Aue
provide customers with the information they need to make informed choices about                    2DEGREES' CHIEF EXECUTIVE
technologies and providers.

                                                              2019 / Issue 9
Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
Closing the
digital divide
– it’s a commitment
It’s a busy time for the minister. There is
the new telecoms act, the 5G networks
and the Rugby World Cup on his to-do
list. But Kris Faafoi’s biggest focus is on
ensuring everyone benefits from the
new telecoms technologies,
he tells Bill Bennett
Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
The Download | Minister Kris Faafoi                                                            7

                                        ris Faafoi was appointed Minister         where we’re happy with the settings. The      to get a product out there fast, we want to
                                        of Broadcasting, Communications           Commerce Commission will then fine-           get the process right in terms of spectrum
                                        and Digital Media in early                tune its approach and methodologies.”         allocation and what we need to do in terms
                               September. By the end of November, he                The minister draws parallels between        of our treaty obligations. There’s also an
                               had shepherded the Telecommunications              the telecommunications and energy             educational job. That’s a piece of work for
                               (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment               sectors. He says there was a long and         the sector to do.”
                               Act through Parliament.                            complex process to go through with               He says there are still outstanding
                                  It was a busy start, yet, he says, it doesn’t   the energy sector. “Hopefully, we’ve          claims regarding spectrum. “We’re at the
                               signal the end of Government plans for the         learnt some lessons from that process,        stage of looking at what our options are to
                               portfolio. For Faafoi, the most immediate          but we expect to have some complex            meet them.”
                               and demanding challenge now is the timely          conversations until everyone is happy.”          Faafoi doesn’t think this will slow
                                                                                                                                down the 5G process. “We can have
                                                                                                                                conversations concurrently with iwi
                                                                                                                                while talking to the telcos about their
                                                                                                                                build timetables and their aspirations
                                    'There is a clear link between making sure                                                  for their roll out. If we are diligent about
                                                                                                                                how we do it, all those conversations can
                                     all New Zealanders are able to watch the                                                   happen concurrently.”
                                      Rugby World Cup and the more serious                                                         There are politics involved. He says it is
                                     matter of seeing everyone can access the                                                   important to have a clear focus on what the
                                                                                                                                Government can offer iwi from the start of
                                          telecommunications networks'                                                          negotiations. At the same time, he says, “it
                                                                                                                                also depends on us talking to our coalition
                                                                                                                                partners about what’s possible. We’re
                               roll-out of the 5G mobile phone networks.          THE PRESSURE BEGAN EARLY                      mindful of keeping all these people happy.”
                               There is also the question of closing the          Faafoi’s seat was barely warm before the         Fortunately, New Zealand’s
                               digital divide and of reaping the economic         industry pressure to get moving on 5G         telecommunications sector isn’t a political
                               benefits of both the fibre and 5G networks.        started. He says: “In the very first week I   football, as is often the case in Australia.
                                  But, first, he has to nurse the Act             got the portfolio, I went and engaged with    Faafoi sees clear benefits in a broadly bi-
                               through its incubation period. Faafoi says:        all the RSPs [Retail Service Providers].      partisan approach.
                               “In a legislation sense the regulation is          I wanted to get an idea of what was              He says: “If you look at the consumer
                               done. That’s great because it gives some           important to them. Spark gave us a clear      experience, such as New Zealanders’
                               certainty for the telecommunications               message. Simon [Moutter, the Spark            consumption of the likes of Netflix and
                               sector. Now we have to make it work.               managing director] isn’t afraid of saying     other content providers, the fact that
                                  “Recently we had Telecommunications             publicly what he wants.”                      UFB is now ubiquitous means that the
                               Commissioner Stephen Gale in here                     Moutter wants to have a Spark 5G           overwhelming majority of New Zealanders
                               talking about how the Commerce                     network in place in time for the 2021         can access those services at good
                               Commission is going to ready themselves            America’s Cup in Auckland. Because of the     speeds. That’s unlocking the capability
                               for the deadline. We figured out the finer         run up that means by late 2020, less than     of broadband. 5G has the potential to
                               detail of implementing the legislation.”           18 months from now. The other mobile          extend that.”
                                  The Telecommunications Bill is a large          network operators are in less of a rush.         There has been talk of possible industry
                               piece of work that was started under the              Faafoi has a measured approach. He         co-operation on a 5G network build. Faafoi
                               previous Government. It, in effect, lays           says: “We heard Simon, but we also            thinks it’s not the minister’s job to get
                               out how the industry will work in the fibre        listened to others. One thing is the public   involved in this kind of debate at this stage.
                               era. With the first stage of the government-       conversation about what 5G is hasn’t been        He says: “If there is any concern about
                               sponsored UFB programme due to finish              had yet, and the technology isn’t here yet.   competition issues, then the Commerce
                               later this year and the second stage due              “As well as speed, we’ve also got to       Commission will take a keen interest in
                               to complete in another two years, we now           make sure we do it properly. For us, it’s     that. The industry co-operation with the
                               need new rules and regulations to deal             about balancing the needs of the sector.      RBI [Rural Broadband Initiative], most

                               with a transformed market.                         We’ve done this before with 3G and 4G.        people think that has been good. Whether
                                  Faafoi says: “It’s all new territory.           There are other parts of the puzzle that we   something similar could work for 5G is up
                               There are lots of components to deal with.         have to get right.”                           to the telco sector and whether the benefits
                               From the consumer perspective, there is               While he acknowledges all the              work for them.
                               the retail service quality code and the 111        aspirations of the sector, for him the           “The competition side is left to the
                               system. If you look at the legislation from        emphasis is on getting things right so that   regulator. It’s also up to the players. I’m
                               the telecommunications sector end, there’s         New Zealand can unlock all the consumer       sure if they went down that path [of co-
                               plenty of detail that they would still like to     and economic potential of the technology.     operation] the Commerce Commission
                               know. It will take time to get to the point           He says: “While some in the sector want    would keep a close eye on it.”

                                                                                               2019 / Issue 9
Unlocking broadband's potential - The ...
8                                                     The Download | Minister Kris Faafoi

       There is another regulatory issue over
    who gets to build the 5G network. At the
    time of writing, Huawei appears to be on
    the outer. Faafoi says the company isn’t
    banned. “It’s a regulatory process. The
    GCSB [Government Communications
    Security Bureau] has given its take on this
    process. The ball is now in Spark’s court.
    It can choose to mitigate some of the
    GCSB’s concerns.
       “All the telcos know there is a regulatory
    process in the TICSA legislation [the
    Telecommunications (Interception
    Capability and Security) Act 2013].
    Regardless of who the vendor is, they all
    have to go through the same process. The
    legislation has been in place for some
    time, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to
    them. They’ve all been through it many
    times before.”
       It is for this reason that Faafoi is
    not worried about existing Huawei
    telecommunications equipment already
    in the ground or on mobile towers. “My
    understanding is that this has already
    been through the regulatory process. If the
    regulator has said that it meets the test, it’s                                                   sure all New Zealanders are able to watch
    [just] an example of where the process has                                                        the Rugby World Cup and the more serious
    come to a conclusion. There’s a journey                  "If our future                           matter of seeing everyone can access the
    through that process for every vendor and                                                         telecommunications networks.
    we’re at the early stage of that.”                    sense of identity is                           Faafoi says one of his main goals is
                                                          delivered digitally,                        closing the digital divide. “The economic
    SPORTING ISSUES LOOM                                                                              driver we want to get out of the digital
    The America’s Cup is not the only looming                then we can't                            economy is huge and we want to make
    sporting fixture likely to pressure Spark.              afford to leave                           sure all New Zealanders have the ability to
    Later this year the company will broadcast                                                        take part in that. What I see with installs is
    the 2019 Rugby World Cup online.
                                                              people out"                             great, but it’s also about getting a handle
       While some games will also be on                              Kris Faafoi                      on what we can do for under-served
    free-to-air television, there are fears the              MINISTER OF BROADCASTING,                families that will make a difference.”
    event could run into problems. After all,             COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL MEDIA               He has taken a close personal interest in
    there are precedents. Last year Optus had                                                         the issue since before he became minister.
    issues streaming the football World Cup              That covers the back end. When it               He says: “I’ve sat on a Computers in
    in Australia.                                     comes to the end users, Faafoi says             Homes’ board for a year and half in my
       Faafoi says there are lessons from the         education is the next step. “Not everyone       own electorate. I know there are lots of
    Optus experience that can be applied to           has a smart TV. If New Zealanders want          great community-based organisations
    Spark and the Rugby World Cup. After all,         to watch at home and their TV isn’t smart,      doing good work to see that refugees,
    rugby is important to New Zealanders.             they’re going to have to get an upgrade or      recent migrants and families that are
       While he doesn’t think the Government          find a way around this and learn how to use     struggling financially can have access
    needs to step in, he says his office is staying   the technology before it starts.                to the type of basic kit that allows them
    in close contact with Simon Moutter and              “Eight people in a family all huddling       to take part [in the community] and,
    his team at Spark.                                around an iPad is not going to be fun.          importantly, that their kids can take part.
       “We’re asking questions like will                 “A lot of households will have to clue          “They will be working in a world that’s
    everyone who wants to watch it be able to be      themselves up about getting signals to their    different. If they can’t get in from an
    connected in time?                                televisions. I’d rather they figure that out    early age, then they won’t be prepared
       “I can’t go into detail, but I’m confident     early, so they don’t have to sit there with a   for the economy that is ahead of them. If
    that Spark has mitigated concerns in terms        cold beer at the first game and battle with a   our future sense of identity is delivered
    of their transmission. The problems Optus         remote control or their Chromecast.”            digitally, then we can't afford to leave
    faced have been identified and fixed.”               There is a clear link between making         people out.”

The Download | 10Gbps                                                                    9

                                 GETTING READY FOR

  FIBRE                                                        WORLD’S FASTEST
                                                                HOME BROADBAND
                                                                by Bill Bennett

CHORUS IS TESTING a residential                                                                   available in 2014. Today this is the fastest
10Gbps fibre service. It’s the fastest                                                            growing plan on our network, with more
home broadband available anywhere in                                                              than 44,000 customers.”
the world.                                                                                           Ana Pesovic, Nokia’s marketing director
   As you might expect, 10Gbps can deliver                                                        for fixed networks, says her company has
impressive performance. There is enough                                                           19 deployments worldwide and over 50
bandwidth to stream an 8K video alongside                                                         XGS-PON trials are underway.
four high-definition 4K videos, all from a                                                           She says industry analysts forecast that
single access point. You no longer need                                                           XGS could overtake GPON in few years
to wait to play that new 25GB Xbox game.                                                          (GPON stands for Gigabit Passive Optical
Click download and it will turn up on your                                                        Network). There are a few reasons why this
console in 20 seconds.                                                                            will happen:
   10Gbps is so new that most homes aren’t                                                           First, it means a service provider can
properly equipped to use it yet. Even the                                                         offer business products at the same time
best Wi-Fi router could only distribute a                                                         as domestic broadband. There is no need
fraction of its available bandwidth around                       Ana Pesovic                      for two access points. This means higher
                                                          NOKIA’S MARKETING DIRECTOR
your home. To get the most from a 10Gbps                                                          margins for service providers, allowing
connection, you would need to have a                                                              them to move up into more demanding
wired 10 gigabit Ethernet network.                trial. Chorus expects others to follow.         enterprise markets.
   That’s still rare for domestic set-ups, and       The 10Gbps trial uses Nokia’s XGS-PON           Another reason is it gives a service
even then there are still bottlenecks. To         technology. This upgrades Chorus’ existing      provider a competitive advantage.
put 10Gbps in perspective, it is faster than      fibre network to handle 10Gbps in both          Pesovic says market-leading speeds and
everyday computers write data to their            directions: up and down. It can sit alongside   high-bandwidth upstream services are
hard drive. Most solid-state drives can’t         today’s residential networks and gives          increasingly popular with residential
match the speed.                                  Chorus a straightforward upgrade path to        customers demanding a premium
   Around 30 users will be helping Chorus         offer 10Gbps everywhere fibre is available.     experience. 10Gbps offers symmetrical
with its trial. One condition for taking part        Ed Hyde, Chorus’ chief customer              bandwidth. That’s an important
is testers must have a device that can cope       officer, says XGS-PON reinforces its ability    differentiator for service providers.
with 10Gbps. Eventually, those 10Gbps             to easily upgrade the world-class fibre            She says: “Last, but not least, XGS is
devices will be commonplace, but not yet.         infrastructure it has been building as the      increasingly gaining interest for mobile
   At first, the service will only be available   latest technologies become available.           transport. With the imminent arrival
in Avondale and Birkenhead in Auckland,              Hyde says New Zealand’s broadband            of 5G mobile services bringing higher
and Johnsonville in Wellington.                   speeds have been rising fast. “In 2011,         capacity and higher mobile cell density,
   Chorus is working with retail service          the average broadband speed was just            10G symmetrical fibre networks can be
providers to offer 10Gbps services to             10Mbps or so. When Chorus’ fibre plans          used for mobile transport. This increases
testers. 2degrees, 2Talk, Kordia, Orcon,          first launched, in 2012, the top speed then     the synergies between fixed and mobile
Slingshot, Stuff Fibre and Trustpower are         available was 100Mbps. We were then             networks, resulting in cost savings and the
among the RSPs who have signed up to the          the first to make gigabit fibre broadband       acceleration of 5G.”

                                                                2019 / Issue 9
10                                                    The Download | Broadcasting

       Freeview CEO,
       Jason Foden

                Fibre is taking over from conventional television delivery, and Freeview is now
                     pushing this move with a new streaming service. Sarah Putt reports

     THE DAYS OF aerials on rooftops may be                                         It has Wi-Fi capability, and there are plans
     numbered as New Zealand households sign                                        to enable direct access to an Ethernet port.
     up to fibre-based broadband services and                                       The device has Chromecast built in, can
     more television content is delivered online.                                   stream 4K ultra high definition content
        Freeview has introduced a streaming                                         and its Bluetooth remote control includes
     device called Dish TV SmartVU X, which                                         voice search.
     allows Freeview channels to be streamed                                           Consumers with the device can access
     for the first time, so there is no need to                                     12 channels via IPTV (Internet Protocol
     use an aerial or satellite dish. It is small                                   Television) as well as apps such as Netflix,
     enough to fit into the palm of your hand                                       Lightbox, YouTube, Stuff Pix and more via
     and comes with a magnet, so users can                                          the Google Play digital distribution service.
     attach it to the back of their television set.                                 The Freeview On Demand streaming


service will be added later this year.          port and a broadband connection. The           longer able to access Freeview via a
   Freeview was established in its current      vast majority of New Zealand homes have        roof-top aerial or satellite dish?
form during the ‘Digital Switchover’.           those things.”                                    Foden estimates broadcast transmission
This was the government initiative to              Foden is ambitious about adding more        won’t be switched off for at least another
move from analogue to digital television        content – both free and subscriber-based. It   10 to 15 years. The service is owned and
transmission, from 2012 to 2014. Freeview       currently has Spark’s Lightbox, and Foden      managed by Kordia in New Zealand,
is a joint venture between TVNZ                 is in discussion with Spark about sports       with broadcasting service provider JDA
(45 percent ownership), MediaWorks              content, in particular the Rugby World Cup.    servicing some of the country’s regions.
(33 percent), Māori TV (17 percent) and            “We’re really keen to offer that service    But, if the Government makes the call to
Radio NZ ( five percent).                       on the IP platform, so this major sporting     switch off broadcast transmission, there
   Freeview CEO Jason Foden describes           event can be easily accessed in Kiwi           will likely be a mass marketing campaign
the service’s customer demographic as           homes. I can’t say 100 percent that it will    advising people to take up IPTV services.
“slightly younger” when compared with           happen, as we are in conversation with            Chorus’ Rodgers is more bullish about
the current pay TV subscriber base. “We         Spark, but we have a mutual aspiration         the end to broadcast transmission – he
have engagement with over one million           to broadcast a range of content to the         would like to see it turned off in 2025,
households, that’s about two-thirds of          broadest possible audience.”                   when the second phase of the Ultra-Fast
New Zealand homes, with access having                                                          Broadband roll-out will be completed.
grown nine percent since 2016,” he says.                                                          “I would have thought 2025 is a great
   The move by Freeview to offer streaming                                                     time-frame to aim for. The current
services is expected to further its reach                                                      UFB will be completed in 2022, it seems
– and to deliver content from the range                                                        perfect,” he says.
of New Zealand broadcasters to more                                                               “Shut down broadcast transmission and
Kiwi audiences. Foden says 10 percent of                                                       the copper network and create a fibre-
New Zealand households currently don’t                                                         based digital society. Isn’t that the reason
have access to broadcast television via                                                        for the UFB? Broadcast transmission is
either a UHF aerial or satellite dish.                                                         only capable of doing linear TV, it can’t
   There are three ‘household types’ in                                                        do 4K content, it can’t do Video On
particular that Foden says the new service                                                     Demand. You need an aerial, and, with all
will appeal to: those living in new builds                                                     the densification happening in Auckland,
where fibre has been installed and there                                                       people aren’t able to get UHF aerials and
is no television aerial; people who live in                                                    satellite dishes,” he says.
apartments or in a flatting situation, and                    Kurt Rodgers                        Other countries are considering switching
people who may want to access television                      CHORUS’ NETWORK                  off broadcast transmission, with Belgium
in other parts of the house, such as a second                STRATEGY MANAGER                  and Switzerland being among the first to
living area with no direct aerial connection.                                                  make the call. Belgian Dutch-language
   Foden says while a fibre connection             Foden is also open to working with Sky      public broadcaster VRT pulled the plug on
is preferable for consumers wanting to          TV and would like to have its content made     its service in December. It claimed it was
use streaming services, those who don’t         available via the new service. “We’d love      costing over €1 million a year to sustain
have access to Ultra-Fast Broadband             to have Prime on board, and to have Fan        and only served 45,000 viewers. And the
services can use a VDSL (Very-high-bit-         Pass and Neon [movies] available on the        Swiss public broadcaster SRG says it will
rate digital subscriber line) connection.       platform,” he says.                            terminate digital terrestrial distribution of
He recommends an unlimited broadband               “Our primary focus for SmartVU X is         its television channels (DTT) in June. SRG
plan for “peace of mind”, and he notes that     expanding the streaming channels [Prime        says only 1.9 percent of households still use
Freeview is “ISP agnostic”, so it doesn’t       and Choice] and getting ready for the          DTT and advises those affected to move to
matter what internet service provider a         Rugby World Cup,” says Foden.                  satellite, cable or IPTV services.
consumer subscribes to.                            While the most popular channels                Both Foden and Rodgers agree satellite
   Chorus’ network strategy manager,            on Freeview are from the major New             technology is likely to exist for many
Kurt Rodgers, is enthusiastic about the new     Zealand broadcasters such as TVNZ              more years because people living in
service. He says giving users the ability       and MediaWorks, it carries a number of         remote locations can’t access the high-
to switch seamlessly between traditional        channels designed for niche audiences.         speed broadband services needed for
broadcasters and online providers using         Foden says the move to IPTV presents           IPTV services.
one remote could be the “gateway drug”          an opportunity for new content creators           Rodgers says the end-goal for
to IPTV, especially for those viewers who       who might not be able to afford broadcast      New Zealand should be to push fibre out
have so far shied away from online services.    transmission. The cost of IPTV delivery        to 99 percent of the population (when
   “It’s made for the mass market, for          is cheaper because with CDN (Content           UFB2 is complete it will be available to
people who aren’t tech savvy,” he says.         Distribution Network) you only pay for the     87 percent). “But we would always need
“All you need is a television, a HDMI           people who actually watch it.                  to acknowledge that there will be that last
(High-Definition Multimedia Interface)             So, how long before consumers are no        one to two percent.”

                                                             2019 / Issue 9
12                                                   The Download | Andrew Button

                FULL BROADBAND
                  COVERAGE IS
                        – and rural service choice
                   Rural New Zealanders will get a choice of mobile network provider
                   once the fibre-and-wireless broadband network covers the country.
                          Better services should follow. Heather Wright reports

                nce upon a time in the world of    time in rural New Zealand – it immediately     as well as capital that is being provided
                telecommunications, population     appealed to me. Doing something good           direct from government agency Crown
                coverage was considered a major    for the community rather than something        Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
     competitive advantage. Each mobile            that is a business proposition is highly         In December 2018, the Coalition
     network would market itself as covering       aspirational,” he says.                        Government announced a further $40
     the area where the largest percentage of        “With the Rural Connectivity Group, all      million investment from the Provincial
     New Zealanders ‘live, work and play’. One     three mobile network owners are turning        Growth Fund (PGF). This is overseen by
     network even launched with an advertising     around and saying it should be equal           Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones. The
     campaign featuring a Hollywood stunt-         coverage for rural New Zealand, and the        money will be added to the RBI2/MBSF
     woman sitting on a shipping container         differentiator will be the services they       expansion budget. This is to extend mobile
     floating in the middle of the ocean while     provide on top of that network.”               broadband services to more households
     she talked on her mobile phone.                                                              and bring total broadband coverage
        Now thanks to the Rural Connectivity       WHAT IS THE RCG?                               up to 99.8 percent of the New Zealand
     Group (RCG), coverage is no longer a key      The RCG was formed in 2017 as a response       population.
     differentiator in the telcos’ marketing       to the then National Government’s                While the RCG has the lion’s share of
     playbook, at least not for the three mobile   decision to extend the Rural Broadband         the contracts entered into by CIP, there is
     network owners (MNOs) Vodafone, Spark         Initiative (RBI) programme to 74,000           an additional $17.5 million in funding that
     and 2degrees, who are equal shareholders      rural households, delivering a broadband       has been awarded to 17 regional wireless
     in the RCG.                                   service of around 20Mbps. In addition,         service providers (collectively known
        It’s this commitment to providing an       the Government created the Mobile Black        as WISPs).
     equitable wholesale broadband service         Spots Fund (MBSF), aimed at providing
     across New Zealand that attracted Andrew      better mobile coverage on rural highways       THE ROLL-OUT
                                                                                                                                                 PHOTOGRAPH BY LARNIE NICOLSON

     Button to the role of Executive Programme     and at remote tourist locations.               The RCG has undertaken to build a
     Director of the RCG. He has previously           The $225 million contract was signed        minimum of 400 new sites capable of
     worked for Ericsson and Nokia Siemens         in September 2017. The bulk of the             delivering 4G mobile broadband. There is
     and, just prior to joining the RCG, worked    money, $150 million, comes from three          a stretch target of 454 sites to be built by
     with application companies, Mobile            instalments of the Telecommunications          the end of 2022. And there is an expansion
     Mentor and Blerter.                           Development Levy. This is an annual $50        programme that will see an extra 120-plus
        “As soon as I read about the intent (of    million industry levy that is due to come to   sites built by 31 December 2023.
     the RCG) and the target audience – being      an end in 2019. There is also a $75 million       There will be one Radio Access Network
     a Taranaki guy and having spent lots of       contribution from RCG’s shareholders,          (RAN) unit at every site, which will deliver


                 "All three mobile network
                 owners are turning around
                   and saying it should be
                  equal coverage for rural
                    New Zealand and the
                    differentiator will be
                        the services"
                            Andrew Button

2019 / Issue 9
14                                                   The Download | Andrew Button

     mobile and broadband services from            than $100,000 to over $500,000 and                 Then there are the backhaul costs
     each of the three MNOs. From the user’s       depend on a range of factors such as            (getting traffic from the rural sites to
     perspective, this means that regardless       the remoteness of the location, the             telecoms hubs). Satellite is the most
     of whether you subscribe to 2degrees,         cost of gaining resource consent and            expensive and delivers the least capacity,
     Vodafone or Spark, you can use your           the availability of electricity. Even the       so is likely to be deployed for less than 10
     mobile to make a call when you are in an      wind can ratchet up the price, as Button        percent of sites. Fibre will be used in up to
     area covered by the RCG.                                                                      30 percent of sites and microwave radio
        For urban folk this might not seem like                                                    technology for the remainder.
     a big deal, but Button says being able to                                                        Button won’t comment on which
     access all three networks will be a huge            "The level of                             technology partner the RCG is in talks
     step forward for people living in rural                                                       with, but it’s probably safe to assume
     and remote areas. “This provides choice       industry and technical                          that Huawei is off the list given the
     for rural residents and workers, and it         collaboration [two                            Government’s current aversion to
     means rural service providers will remain                                                     its presence in New Zealand. The
     connected regardless of which mobile             technologies and                             telecommunications portfolio is now
     network they are presently with.”                  three network                              part of Minister Kris Faafoi’s remit,
        In addition to the MNOs’ RAN there will                                                    but Button says he works with the
     be space at each site for another operator
                                                      operators] is not                            Government through CIP, which is also
     to locate its equipment. This could be one       only new for this                            the entity responsible for the Ultra-Fast
     of the WISPs or another entity such as the                                                    Broadband roll-out.
     emergency services, Kordia or business
                                                    country, it may even                              RCG employs up to 20 full-time staff
     telco, TeamTalk.                                  be a world first"                           (some are still being recruited). It boosts
        Conversely, it may be that the RCG                                                         this core team with resources from its
     decides to co-locate on a site owned by
                                                               Andrew Button                       shareholding companies, the three
                                                      RCG EXECUTIVE PROGRAMME DIRECTOR
     another organisation. “If the existing                                                        MNOs. In addition, there are contractors
     infrastructure is in a location that will                                                     who work on time-bound projects,
     satisfy our needs and the commercial          explains. “We’ve got some sites that we         such as the programme to integrate the
     offer is within the cost of us building our   are looking at in the Tararua district and      RCG’s network with the three MNOs,
     own, then absolutely we will co-locate on     its actually the wind loading that will drive   and representatives from design and
     someone else’s equipment,” Button says.       the costs of those sites more than any other    build partners Downer NZ, Connect 8
        Individual site costs vary from less       individual component.”                          and Broadspectrum.

   To date, the RCG has built three permanent   operation for over a year, Button explains        actively working on 283 sites of the 454 sites.
sites – at Raurimu in the Ruapehu district,     that as a start-up organisation it had to first      Button is confident that not only will the
Kaihu in Northland and Lake Wahapo on           establish ‘resource and process’ before           RBI2 be completed on time, it will come in
the West Coast. All three currently provide     specific site acquisition could begin.            ahead of schedule, a year earlier, in 2021,
3G services from each MNO.                         “Site acquisition is not an instantaneous      although he notes there will always be that
                                                process – identifying the location you            “hard site” that takes longer to finish.
HAAST SITES                                     wish to build a site at, understanding the           Even then, the relentless march of
There are also four temporary sites located     land-owners’ requirements, engaging with          technology will likely mean changes are
at Haast and along State Highway 6 on           the local community, iwi and government           needed. By 2022, 5G is expected to be
the West Coast of the South Island. One         agencies as appropriate, getting the lease        operational and there might even be a
temporary tower, in the Haast township,         approved and then getting the resource            fourth mobile network.
is supported by three roadside sites. These     consent takes many months,” he says.                 Button says the latest evolution in
were installed before Christmas to enable          In addition, the process of integrating        mobile is part of their “future thinking”,
better safety on what can be a dangerous        the RCG network with the MNO networks,            but a new mobile network operator is not.
section of the state highway. The roadside      which each have their own unique                  “That doesn’t mean yes, that doesn’t mean
sites were each built in a container with a     architecture, is a big piece of work that         no. I honestly haven’t considered that.
pre-installed antenna, satellite dish and       isn’t expected to be completed until mid-         That’s a question that would need to be
diesel generator.                               2019. The first permanent site delivering         answered by the shareholders – Vodafone,
   Once permanent sites are built at Haast,     4G connectivity can’t become fully                Spark and 2degrees.”
the intention is for the container-sites        operational until this work is done.                 Dealing with the task at hand is probably
to be deployed elsewhere. However, 3G              “We will end up with a period of time          enough to be getting on with. Button
connectivity will remain even after 4G is       where we are building sites, and then a           says the level of industry and technical
delivered, says Button, because VoLTE,          number of sites will all come online at the       collaboration is not only new for this
which enables voice services over 4G,           same time, once the MNO integration               country, it may even be a world first.
can’t be accessed by users with overseas        work is completed, and then the                      “Shared networks have been considered
SIM cards, so the company will have to          programme will flow logically from that           and implemented in many other
run a 3G service as well. (VoLTE stands for     point onwards,” Button says.                      countries, but shared networks across
Voice over Long Term Evolution and is the          In January the RCG was ready to begin          two technologies, across three network
technology used by 4G wireless networks.)       construction on 10 sites, with another batch      operators, for the geographical coverage
   When asked why there aren’t more sites       to follow. It had lease approval for 54 sites,    we’re looking at in New Zealand? We think
established, given the RCG has been in          had gained 47 resource consents and was           that’s actually unique.”

                                                              2019 / Issue 9
16                                                     The Download | Spark Sports

                                                                                                                                   Spark Sport team

     Live RWC – it’s a gamble
     The Rugby World Cup is coming soon, but how well will Spark deliver the iconic Big Event.
     Hadyn Green considers the challenges facing the telco as the pressure mounts

     IT’S 2008 AND Beijing is hosting the          deliver what is possibly the most popular         will provide not only the load test that
     Olympics. TVNZ has the broadcasting           sporting event in this country, the Rugby         Spark needs, but also give an indication of
     rights and, alongside its traditional         World Cup (RWC). No pressure.                     fan satisfaction.
     terrestrial service, is offering an online        The big question hanging over Spark Sport       Premier League fans have suffered more
     service. You can log on to the TVNZ           is: how well will it work? As of now, offering    than most in recent years with the demise of
     website and watch live feeds of the Games     a stable streaming service for live sport is      Premier League Pass followed by the poor
     from the various venues. The quality isn’t    a gamble.                                         implementation of the BeIN Sports’ online
     exactly 4K, but it’s better than the dodgy        Fan Pass and Sky Go have been maligned        option. It’s fair to say then that the current
     illegal streams and the coverage of events    in recent years for crashing when they come       mood concerning Spark Sport is one of
     is nearly perfect.                            under any kind of big load – usually during       scepticism. So, what do we know?
        Cut to 2019 and online sports streaming    All Blacks games. These failures have left
     is dominated by the leagues, such as          many wondering if Spark is setting itself and     THE SPARK VIEW ON
     the US’ National Basketball Association       rugby fans up for a fall.                         STREAMING SPORTS
     and National Football League, and TV              Of course, it’s not just rugby. Spark Sport   Spark Sport will be a live, on-demand
     operators like Sky. We have neither the       will also have English Premier League             sports streaming platform built by
     same level of coverage or freedom we had      football (from August 2019), Manchester           iStreamPlanet, which currently supports
     a decade ago.                                 United TV, rugby’s Heineken Champions             streaming for NBA League Pass and the
        But now New Zealand’s biggest telco        Cup, Formula 1 and the FIH Hockey Pro             Olympics. Jeff Latch, head of Spark Sport,
     is venturing into this space with its new     League. Starting just a month out from            says the business chose iStreamPlanet as it
     streaming service: Spark Sport. It plans to   the RWC kick-off, the Premier League              has “an impressive pedigree”. It provides


                                 the streaming platform for a number of              Spark Sport will charge $20 a month               Latch says: “We believe by making
                                 large sports events. These include the           for all its content. There are no ongoing         sports content more affordable – through
                                 Super Bowl, basketball’s NCAA March              commitments and it starts with a one              flexible plans and packages – and by
                                 Madness, and the Formula 1 TV Pro                month free trial. The RWC will also be            offering it over a range of options, for when
                                 channel. Also, its ability to provide support    offered as a standalone subscription,             and where people watch games or events,
                                 for “a very large number of concurrent           however, with options for the tournament          we are making sport more accessible to
                                 users” is impressive.                            and individual game passes. There will            New Zealand as a whole.”
                                    He says: “iStreamPlanet will provide          also be a “freemium” model with some
                                 the bulk of the technical infrastructure         content available even if you don’t want to       TREATED AS PINBALLS
                                 for Spark Sport, including video encoding        pay for a subscription.                           In general, New Zealand sports fans
                                 and distribution, user authentication,                                                             have found themselves being treated
                                 subscription management and billing,                                                               as pinballs, knocked around by media
                                 and app development, across a wide range                                                           companies as they jostle and fight over
                                 of devices.”                                                                                       broadcasting rights. Currently, there
                                    The range of devices is set to expand
                                                                                       'Starting just a                             are only a few sports available to stream
                                 after Spark Sport’s launch, as will the            month out from the                              direct from source and most of these are
                                 number of functions.                                RWC kick-off, the                              American sports backed by big money. The
                                    Latch is also clear that you won’t need                                                         rest are often the sole domain of pay-TV
                                 broadband fibre to stream sport (although          Premier League will                             (tennis, golf, league and so on).
                                 it will help).                                     provide not only the                               Spark Sport is a refreshing change in the
                                    “If you do have a slower connection,                                                            New Zealand media landscape, offering
                                 we will automatically adjust the quality of        load test that Spark                            something new and providing some
                                 your stream to fit your connection speed.          needs, but also give                            competition for the old guard of sports
                                 So, the actual quality of the video you’re                                                         coverage. Whether the infrastructure will
                                 watching will depend on the quality of your        an indication of fan                            hold up under the strain is yet to be seen –
                                 internet connection – as well as the type               satisfaction'                              and tested. Early games shown will either
                                 and quality of your devices, and your home                                                         be a catastrophe or a triumph.
                                 set-up,” he says. This is already the case                                                            Last year, during the FIFA World Cup,
                                 for Netflix and Lightbox.                           There will be advertising on the               football fans were furious when Australian
                                    However, there is a back-up. TVNZ             platform. However, there will be no               telco Optus’ online coverage broke down.
                                 will be the free-to-air partner for Spark        adverts during game play or straight after        Viewers were left staring at “playback
                                 Sport during the RWC and a number of             the Haka. This is currently done well             error” messages. Optus had to offload the
                                 games will be broadcast over its terrestrial     on other international sports streaming           tournament to SBS TV to broadcast the
                                 network, including the final. This is not        sites such as MLB.TV and Rugby Pass,              matches. Spark will have observed this –
                                 only helpful for those with poor internet        where advert breaks are replaced with             and the damage it did to the Optus brand.
                                 connectivity, but also for those who can’t       either a live feed from the stadium or            It’s likely hoping everything will play out
                                 afford a subscription.                           short highlights.                                 well, even more than rugby fans.

                                     THE OLD RIVAL – WHAT IS SKY DOING?
                                     Sky TV has long been criticised for its       Rugby, Rugby League or F1 racing.               from what had been a useful service.
                                     stubborn refusal to embrace streaming.        The streaming was slightly better than             Fan Pass remains innovative though. It
                                     But this is changing. Its Neon movie          the Sky Go app and the prices weren’t           is available as an app on most new smart
                                     and television service is no longer the       too bad.                                        TVs and on nearly all mobile devices.
                                     dud it was a year ago – very little HD           The service then switched to monthly,        Sky also offers free Google Chromecast
                                     (high definition) content, expensive and      weekly and single day passes. And,              streaming video as an incentive. This
                                     unreliable. It is now a reasonable service    instead of individual sports, it offered live   allows fans to view sports from their

                                     worth paying for – especially if you like     access to Sky Sports 1, 2, and 3.               televisions. But there is no on-demand
                                     Game of Thrones.                                 Then, during rugby’s Lions Tour              version and Sky’s special pop-up
                                        When it comes to sports, however, Sky      in 2017, Sky decided to change the              channels remain on Sky only.
                                     keeps making blunders.                        pricing structure. Single day passes               Sky still owns the rights to a large
                                        Fan Pass was a welcome addition to         were removed, prices for monthly                number of sports, including tennis, golf
                                     New Zealand’s streaming market when           subscriptions were doubled and six-             and cricket, so it’s not about to disappear
                                     it was first launched in 2015. At first,      monthly and yearly options added. The           from the market any time soon.
                                     fans could buy full seasons of Super          result was a lot of people turning away

                                                                                                2019 / Issue 9
18                                                                  XXX | XXX

                                                                                                              Vaughan Baker, MyRepublic group director
                                                                                                                 for government and corporate relations

     Asia-Pacific’s only regional internet service provider (ISP) MyRepublic is growing fast
     and creating a few benign headaches along the way as it helps boost entrepreneurial
     culture in the region. Sarah Putt reports

              aughan Baker is helping cause          I’m resigning’. And it’s not to go somewhere     2017, according to Enterprise Singapore.
              headaches for his friends              else. They’re off to give the start-up they’ve      Baker believes New Zealand could
              in Singapore.                          been working on in their bedroom a go.           reap similar benefits because of the keen
        Baker, who previously headed up                 “That entrepreneurial way of thinking is      uptake of fast broadband here. It represents
     MyRepublic New Zealand, is now the              promoted by the fact people have got this        a “tremendous opportunity” for New
     Singapore-based group’s director for            always-on connectivity – that’s the base         Zealand, he says.
     government and corporate relations.             layer. It’s one of the pillars,” says Baker.        His wider view of the Asia-Pacific region
     MyRepublic bills itself as the first purpose-      “My mates have no choice but to shake         has driven home to him the fact New
     built ultra-fast broadband provider in the      their hand, wish them luck and maybe ask if      Zealand has a head-start over the other
     Asia-Pacific region and offers 1Gbps services   they need any seed capital.”                     countries that the Singapore ISP operates
     as its entry level product in Singapore.           Singapore is reaping the rewards of its       in – with the exception of Singapore itself.
        “I’ve got quite a few expat mates            focus on infrastructure (along with the             Singapore kicked off its government-led,
     working in finance, oil and gas and IT,         wider start-up friendly environment). The        nationwide broadband network back in
     and they dread the day the young smart          island-state’s start-up companies closed         2006 and has had 1Gbps services, priced at
     Singaporeans who work for them say, ‘Boss,      US$1.2 billion in venture capital deals in       less than S$50 a month, since mid-2015.

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