The Consumers' Guide To NZ's Switch From Copper To Fibre This 2021

Mar 2, 2021
By Staff writer

New Zealand will be switching from copper to fibre this year. According to the Commerce Commission, the use of copper declined dramatically in the past six years. From having 1.27 million connections in September 2014, it decreased to 581,000 in 2009. One of the main reasons for the decline is that most businesses and consumers have switched to the latest fibre services and wireless options.

Today, more than 79% of Kiwis have access to fibre-to-the-premises, and it's expected to reach 87% by the end of 2022. The rise of fibre broadband connections began in 2019 when it replaced copper broadband connections for the first time.

The switch is part of the NZ Government's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative. Fibre companies have been introducing the use of fibre networks across the country for the last decade. As fibre networks increase, more New Zealanders are also moving from Chorus' copper network to a different telecommunications service.

What is the Copper Withdrawal Code all about?

The Copper Withdrawal Code presents the minimum requirements for Chorus, which they have to meet before they can stop providing wholesale copper phone and broadband services in any area.

The majority of New Zealanders are expected to have access to fibre at home by 2022, which means traditional copper phones and broadband networks will no longer be needed. The Copper Withdrawal Code was created to protect consumers during the transition. Under this Code, Chorus must give consumers at least six months' notice of any change and provide information to make the transition easier.

If the consumer decides to switch to fibre service, Chorus must have it installed at their house at no additional cost. The Code also states that Chorus can only stop supplying copper services if the area/household has access to fibre services already.

If there are any instances where Chorus is not following the code, consumers can complain and relay their concerns to the Telecommunications Disputes Resolution Service (TDRS).

The Code will take effect on March 21, 2021, but Chorus will not stop providing copper services until September 01, 2021 at the earliest. While the switch won't start until September 2021, it's important to know everything about the switch, including your right as a consumer should you decide to switch to a different service.


Here are some frequently asked questions about the transition from copper to newer networks such as fibre and wireless to help you!

What if fibre is not yet available in my area?

The Telecommunications Act 2001 (Act) that was amended in 2018 permits Chorus to withdraw its copper-based telecommunications services in areas where fibre is available if they have complied with the requirements under the Code. If fibre is still not available in your area, Chorus must continue to offer its copper services.

Do I have to pay extra to change from copper to fibre service?

There will be no extra charge from Chorus to install fibre, but please note that the company you choose to supply your phone or broadband services may charge additional costs.

What if a telecommunications provider refused to sell me copper services?

Like other stores, it is up to the broadband providers to decide which technologies to offer and if they still want to continue providing copper-based phone and broadband services. You can do some research and inquire to find a provider that sells your desired services.

How do I know what broadband technologies are available in my location?

Head to to check what technologies are available and will become available based on your area. If fibre is already available at your address, you can already avail it ASAP. You don't have to wait for Chorus to stop supplying copper in your area before you decide to switch to fibre.

Read: Bye Bye Copper: More Reasons To Switch To Fibre Broadband This 2021

How do I know if my internet connection is copper-based?

You can contact your current phone or broadband provider to inquire about the kind of service and technology you currently have.

What if I want to stay on copper?

It's best to switch to fibre if it's already available in your area. The Government's Telecommunications Act allows Chorus to stop providing copper if fibre is available in an area if they meet all the requirements, which means you will not be able to use copper anymore.

Why should I switch to fibre?

Upgrading from the older copper network to newer technologies, such as fibre, gives you many benefits. Some of which are:

  • faster and more reliable connection
  • better online security
  • fiber technology providers are more likely to provide "symmetrical bandwidth" which means balanced upload and download speeds

Get the best broadband from the best providers wherever you are!

Whether you're using fibre already or still planning to change your telecommunications service, make sure you get the best one based on your location! Compare the best broadband plans from the leading providers in New Zealand.

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