Big challenges await new Chorus CEO

InternetNZ welcomes the announcement of Kate McKenzie as the next Chief Executive of Chorus - to start in the job from February 2017.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter says Chorus is playing a vital part in building New Zealand’s Internet-enabled future.

"The new Chief Executive will have big shoes to fill and we see some big challenges in this role.”

Those challenges are:

Truly transition Chorus from legacy copper technology to fibre

“The New Zealand telecommunications market is changing fast,” says Carter.

It is becoming increasingly evident that copper cannot support adequate performance for an ever-growing proportion of New Zealanders - particularly in rural areas. InternetNZ believes that copper is not capable of contributing to the Government’s target of 50mbps for 99% of New Zealanders by 2025.

Copper is increasingly inefficient - more expensive than fibre, and more expensive than other emerging forms of connectivity.

“The challenge for Chorus’ new Chief Executive is how to manage that transition off copper in a way that supports better connectivity for all New Zealanders.”

Drive utilisation, productivity and benefit from better connectivity

Unlocking the creative, productive and social potential of better connectivity is another big challenge for the new Chief Executive.

InternetNZ and Chorus work together in the Innovation Partnership, which has previously identified that better connectivity could enable $34 billion in productivity gains.

“As a country we have invested in fibre and better connectivity not just for the sake of better infrastructure, but because it lays a foundation for better economic and social outcomes for all New Zealanders.

“We want to continue to work with Chorus to realise this potential,” says Carter.

Help Internet Service Providers and New Zealanders get and use fibre

Chorus has faced challenges this year in meeting demand for fibre, and InternetNZ hopes that era is over.

“Chorus has a responsibility to get New Zealanders connected as quickly and as seamlessly as possible - and we hope that the new Chief Executive is keen to meet that challenge.”

That means providing products that meet customer demand as it changes over time. For example, moving the base product from 30mbps to 50mbps. Providing excellent service to Internet users and the Internet Service Providers that support them is core business for Chorus.

“InternetNZ values our constructive working relationship with Chorus, and looks forward to working with their new Chief Executive to meet these challenges for the betterment of New Zealand.”

“Mark Ratcliffe has been a source of stability in changing times for telecommunications. We have disagreed with him from time to time, but we celebrate his achievement in leading the creation of Chorus from the ground up. We wish him the best of luck in his next adventure,” says Carter.