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Copper withdrawal

Overview

How we use the internet has changed considerably in the last year. Working and learning from home, video calling and streaming mean that data consumption is rising exponentially. For many of us fibre is how we use the internet now and by the end of the year it will be available to 87 per cent of Kiwis.

In areas where fibre is available, we are encouraging New Zealanders to migrate off copper to an alternative technology across targeted copper withdrawal trials. Trials began in 2021 and have been progressively scaled up. In 2022 we plan to send copper withdrawal notices to about 10,000 users across about 600 cabinet areas – just 1.5% of our total copper base. We also plan to trial exits from some exchange areas where only a few copper customers remain.

Only hand-picked addresses that make sense for us to withdraw will be in-scope. This is not a mass switch-off of the copper network; it is a programme that will operate at a local level to encourage customers to move from copper to an alternative technology, and it is carefully managed to ensure there are no surprises. Only users who receive a notice from us are part of the withdrawal process.

In areas outside of the fibre footprint, copper will continue to deliver a reliable and consistent service and be well maintained.

 

Information for consumers

The Copper Withdrawal Code requires Chorus to meet minimum requirements before we can withdraw copper – including providing impacted consumers with easily accessible information. Our team has been working hard to ensure the information we provide consumers is as informative as possible. We hope it helps consumers to have informed conversations with you. 

This collateral is now available for you to view and have on hand to support your key messages for ongoing conversations:

  1. Letter addressed to the Occupant, which forms part of the notice.
    1. First notice
    2. Further notice 
    3. Final notice
    4. Confirmation notice
    5. Continuation notice  
  2. An accompanying guide with more consumer-focused detail, which also forms part of the notice. [View booklet]  
  3. A dedicated copper withdrawal web page on the Chorus website for consumers, which contains everything they need to know.

 

Stop sell notices 

Stop Sell notices advise the areas where we won’t accept copper orders any longer – this could be a copper cabinet, a cable range, street or specific addresses.  

From the date of the Stop Sell notice, any requests for new copper services will be rejected with a note in the order to advise that Copper Withdrawal is underway. For these impacted addresses, fibre will be available.

Stopping sale of new copper services in areas where we intend to withdraw copper enables us to manage the Code requirements for existing services and limit a user experience impact for new service consumers. Change of plan and change of provider orders are allowed to progress, however copper withdrawal notices still apply.

Copies of the stop sell notices can be found here:

A consolidated list of impacted cabinets can be found under 'resources' below.  

The copper withdrawal process

The programme continues to trial, test and iterate internal processes to learn all that is required so there are no surprises at shutdown. Our first shutdown will take place in March 2022 (Batch 1).

Enhancements for RSPs
  • We plan to continue providing a month of Advance Notice before notices are sent to consumers.

  • Trial batch frequency has been reduced to every two months, with larger volumes. This was done to reduce the number of touch points per batch and to allow more time in between batches to deal with issues.

  • IT enhancements have been implemented to remove the ability for RSPs to place new copper orders in areas that are under copper withdrawal.

 

Supporting the programme

Thank you to those RSPs that have been involved and supported the process so far. This has been instrumental in the progress made on batch 1. For inflight and future batches, we ask for your continued assistance with the following:

  • Let us know about any incorrect customer address / records details when we send you Advance Notice.

  • Inform us of any ‘at-risk’ customers as early as possible.

  • Continue to contact and inform your customers of the urgency to move off copper before the End of Notice Period.

 

COVID-19 impacts

We paused all copper withdrawal trials when New Zealand moved to Alert Level 4 in August 2021. Over this time, impacted users were sent update letters, informing them of time extensions to their notice periods.

Pauses were lifted across all batches when the government announced New Zealand would move into the new traffic light alert system from 11.59 pm on 2 December 2021.

We will continue to run all current and future withdrawal batches under the traffic light framework. Changes or pauses to the programme caused by COVID-19 will be monitored closely and communicated to you if they need to be made.

 

Trial dates and milestones
Copper withdrawal table May 2022

Please note, there were changes to batches due to the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2021. A summary of these changes can be found here: Changes to copper withdrawal plans.

 

FAQs and further assistance

A number of programme related questions have been answered in the FAQs below. If you do have any other questions, or require additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Service Delivery Lead – Krish Pillay or email the copper withdrawal team at copperwithdrawal@chorus.co.nz.

Meet our project team

Marcus Wofinden

Chorus Business Owner  

copperwithdrawal@chorus.co.nz

Niran Nayagam

Programme Lead

copperwithdrawal@chorus.co.nz

Krish Pillay

Service Delivery Manager Lead

copperwithdrawal@chorus.co.nz

Frequently asked questions

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