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Chorus commissions new core routers as part of $50m network investment

Chorus has completed the build and commissioning of two new core Ethernet switches in Auckland.

The work is part of the company's $50m of network investment delivered in the last financial year to increase network capacity.

Chorus says the new core switches, Nokia 7750 SR 14s, support New Zealand’s broadband retailers in staying ahead of significant traffic growth, and ensuring New Zealand’s networks can weather unexpected crises such as Covid-19.

Once the physical fibre optic cables are installed into homes and businesses, additional speed and capacity is delivered by upgrading the network electronics found at exchanges. it says.

The two, new multi-terabit core routers, have been commissioned in Auckland and network traffic from exchanges across the region has fully migrated over to the new switches.

“As a wholesale provider, it’s our job to build for the future rather than solely adding capacity for today”, says Ewen Powell, Chorus chief technology officer.

“It’s an approach that has paid dividends for New Zealanders. First in ensuring that we were all able to enjoy streaming Rugby World Cup 2019 to our homes and, more recently, in helping people keep working, learning and staying connected during lockdown," he says.

“We’re also seeing the potential for significant environmental benefits with reduced carbon emissions following increased remote working and use of video-conferencing services. According to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, if one in five of us opted to work from home once a week we’d prevent 84,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.”

Chorus says the new routers immediately serve to increase core capacity in Auckland by more than 200%, with 240 100Gbps ports available. Further increases in capacity will follow with new faster 400Gbps and 1Tbps interfaces.

“While in the core network our challenge is staying ahead of the substantial traffic growth and keeping our network congestion free, we’re also investing heavily in our access network," says Powell.

“The build, and connect, for the second phase of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) continues. Fibre usage for homes and businesses peaked at nearly half a terabyte of data in April, though is now returning to pre-Covid-19 growth levels.

“In UFB1 areas we’re deploying the electronics that enables our Hyperfibre service. Hyperfibre offers symmetric broadband speeds up to 4Gbps. The service is due to be available across our entire UFB1 footprint before the end of the year," he says.

“In rural areas still served by copper we recently completed our exit from the older, copper ATM network with the last three Conklin cabinets replaced by newer broadband electronics.”

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