MEDIA RELEASE

On behalf of WEL Networks Limited

26 January 2017

WEL Networks and Waipa Networks invest further $60M in UFB network

WEL Networks Limited (WEL) says the achievement of its company Ultrafast Fibre in winning a contract to deliver fibre broadband technology under the Government’s UFB2 initiative, reflects the strong reputation of both businesses in the New Zealand telecommunications industry.

Minister for Communications, Simon Bridges, announced today that Ultrafast Fibre has been successful in its bid to build the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network in a further 12 central North Island towns.

As Ultrafast Fibre’s majority shareholder, WEL, along with strategic partner Waipa Networks, will invest approximately $60 million to fulfil the UFB2 contract. This will bring their total investment in fibre infrastructure to almost $450 million by 2018.

WEL Chairman Margaret Devlin says the UFB2 initiative is a good opportunity for WEL to continue to work with the Government and Crown Fibre Holdings, given its experience and track record as a trusted infrastructure provider and regional partner.

“WEL has evolved from simply a lines company to now not only a diversified multi-utility, but also an innovative and future-focused investor,” she says.

“We are proud of the way WEL and Ultrafast Fibre delivered the UFB1 rollout on budget and six months ahead of schedule, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to bring fibre to even more locations, as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Ms Devlin says WEL and Waipa Networks are committed to getting positive results from their investment and are confident that demand for UFB will continue to increase from customers across the residential, business, health and education sectors.

“We can see that UFB is already helping to provide jobs, stimulate the local economy, and encourage innovation in centres where Ultrafast Fibre operates,” she says.

“For WEL it’s about leveraging this momentum and increasing the network coverage areas so even more customers can take advantage of the possibilities that UFB brings. We believe this will benefit both our business and our communities.”

 

ENDS

 

Media contact:

Angela Campbell

027 746 3951 / 07 579 1984

angela@campbellsquared.com

 

Notes to Editors:

 

About WEL Networks, Waipa Networks & Ultrafast Fibre:

WEL Networks is a trusted regional infrastructure provider, with a 100-year heritage serving the Waikato. The company is fully community-owned by the WEL Energy Trust.

For more information, see www.wel.co.nz

Waipa Networks started in the electricity industry in 1919 with the establishment of New Zealand’s first Electric Power Board at Te Awamutu. It is fully-owned by the Waipa Networks Trust.

For more information, see www.waipanetworks.co.nz

Ultrafast Fibre was established in 2010 after WEL won a Government tender to partner with Crown Fibre Holdings to deploy UFB services. In 2016 WEL became the majority shareholder of Ultrafast Fibre when, together with strategic partner Waipa Networks, it bought out the Government’s shares. WEL Networks has an 85% shareholding and Waipa Networks has a 15% shareholding.

Ultrafast Fibre owns and operates the fibre network in the urban areas of Hamilton, Tauranga, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Tokoroa, Hawera, Cambridge and Te Awamutu, providing access to UFB for more than 190,000 premises across the North Island.

Under UFB2, the company will also build the fibre network in the central North Island towns of Ngāruawāhia, Huntly, Kihikihi, Raglan, Eltham, Inglewood, Stratford, Waitara, Putaruru, Te Puke, Omokoroa and Katikati.

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