Chorus is New Zealand’s largest telecommunications utility company who, in August 2011, were awarded the lion’s share of the government-led Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) project.

The project will deliver ultra-fast broadband to 75% of New Zealanders by 2020 with schools, hospitals and 90% of businesses being connected by 2015.

More commonly referred to as Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH), the project will see Chorus lay thousands of kilometres of fibre and ducting to connect more than 830,000 homes and businesses across New Zealand. Crucially it must be able to report its progress against every single one of these premises.

Total Transparency Across the Network 

Needing to manage and report on the network build all the way down to individual-premise level is something new for Chorus. And with over 830,000 premises in total - including a significant volume of multi-dwelling units (MDUs) - Chorus needed a seamless and robust way of managing and reporting on such volume.

What was required was an automated way of integrating iTools with Chorus' Geographic Information System (GIS). That way, the project could be controlled 'as one' and progress managed and reported on across multiple dimensions of the network.



Making a Complex Project Easy

The project is spread across 24 major urban areas with each one broken down into multiple sub-areas - each of which has its own deployment plan. It is these plans that set out the target timelines and detail the exact number of premises that will be passed as the fibre network is built.

In addition to Chorus' internal operational management and reporting requirements (which include its field service sub-contractors), additional levels of detail are demanded by Crown Fibre Holdings (the body responsible for managing the Government's $1.5 billion investment).

For example, within each sub-area, Chorus must report against various design & build milestones, plus operational KPI's (e.g. length of ducting complete, length of fibre deployed, no. of premises passed, etc.)

Reporting against each premise is further complicated by the need to differentiate between priority premises (health, businesses and education) and non-priority (residential) premises.

In addition to workflow automation and contractor management, the iTools solution is also ensuring Chorus stay on top of its reporting requirement. 

Chorus is also using iTools to fulfil its requirements to accurately monitor any quality, health & safety and environmental (QHSE) incidents that occur. These include utility strikes, public safety & traffic incidents, local government notices and occupational health & safety incidents.

The Benefits

As at 30 June 2015, network deployment is ahead of schedule with fibre passing over 368,000 premises.

The main benefits provided to the project from the iTools solution are: 

  • Rapid solution implementation in order to meet aggressive project timelines.
  • Automated reporting from daily activity management up to board reporting.
  • Improved contractor performance and collaboration.
  • Highly intuitive interface allowed for easy training and solution rolllout.
  • Process automation resulted in lower overheads.
  • Improved cashflow forecasting through greater visibility of progress.

Expected Economic Benefit

A recent study by Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, predicts a massive $4.7 billion boost to GDP over the first 6 years from the UFB and RBI (Rural Broadband Initiative) projects combined.

The work and operational management of the majority of this network build is being managed through the iTools Telecom solution.


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