WELLINGTON, July 18 New Zealand
telecommunications network operator Chorus Ltd said on
Friday it had agreed a plan with a government agency that would
allow the company to be paid earlier for building the
government-sponsored ultra fast broadband network.
The company, which is building about three-quarters of the
national network, said under the conditional deal it could bring
forward up to NZ$178 million of payments.
Chorus has said that its ability to build the ultra fast
broadband network is being diminished by regulator plans to
control prices it can charge internet service providers for
access to its network.
It has said the controls will knock its income by as much as
NZ$1 billion up to 2020, which has prompted it to suspend
dividends and look for savings.
The company said the early payment plan was an important
funding backstop, and would not come into effect until after
October 2015 when the regulator is expected to make a final
decision on pricing.