Here's what you need to know about the copper withdrawal

Here in New Zealand, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to technology, including broadband services.

With technology constantly advancing it means some technologies become outdated and no longer serve the purpose they once did. 

With that in mind, you may have heard or read that Chorus is planning to slowly remove the copper network in areas where fibre is available. Fibre is the preferred broadband service favoured by over 75% of New Zealand households, having the speeds and capability to serve all users no matter their online needs. 

Although no specific timeframe for withdrawing copper services from greater Christchurch has been announced, Chorus has indicated that copper is on the way out by announcing withdrawal plans in other parts of New Zealand. We want to ensure that local broadband customers who are still on copper and are within Enable’s fibre broadband coverage area, know their options and can easily make the switch to fibre. 

We also want to shed light on the process for how Chorus plans to remove the copper network as it will affect different areas in different ways. Although we aren’t involved in the decision-making or managing of the copper network, we want to make sure those within our coverage area understand what’s coming. 

Rural areas:

For people living in rural areas or in places where fibre broadband isn’t available then the copper network will continue to service you. 

Fibre broadband serviced areas: 

If fibre broadband is available to you and uptake in your area is high, then copper will most likely be removed at some point in the future. However, it will be done slowly, and you’ll be kept informed of when it’s happening. Chorus must ensure these things before removing copper: 

• Your copper landline and internet connection CANNOT be taken away until an equivalent fibre service is available .  Fibre must be able to be installed at no additional cost to you. 

• Chorus is required to give anyone on the copper network six months’ notice before removing it and ensure it has met its minimum requirements before doing so. 

Vulnerable consumers: 

If you’re a vulnerable consumer (as defined by the Commerce Commission 111 Contact Code), you must demonstrate that you are a vulnerable consumer by following your internet service provider’s vulnerable consumer application process.  If your application is accepted, your internet service provider must make sure you have a means of contacting 111 in the event of a power cut as landlines provided by a fibre connection will not work without power.

For further information on the withdrawal of the copper network then please refer to the Commerce Commission’s resources here:

 • https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/telecommunications-for-consumers/the-future-of-phone-and-broadband

https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/projects/copper-withdrawal-code

https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/projects/commission-111-contact-code 

Or you can visit Chorus’ website here: 

https://www.chorus.co.nz/copper-network

If you’re currently on copper and have further questions about the withdrawal and how it will impact you then please contact your internet provider or Chorus. 

Our region is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2. We're operating business as usual, with added safety precautions to ensure it remains safe to do so.