Key information on upcoming copper withdrawal trials

Following our last two Chorus updates (see 'Related Updates' below), we’re pleased to be sharing more about our first copper withdrawal trial. As you know this first trial will impact a small group of 30 cabinets, affecting approximately 250 consumers only. 

The final version of the Copper Withdrawal Code (Code) was published on 10 December 2020 by the Commerce Commission and has been a work in progress for over a year by all involved (the Code can be found here). Over the last few months we’ve worked together to share ideas and explore ways to overcome issues and challenges for upcoming trials.  


Initial trial details

We’ve previously shared our plans to trial in March. The date is now set – on 15 March 2021 the first notices for our very first small-scale trial will reach consumers. As indicated, this will span across 30 cabinets and impact around 250 consumers – this is not going to be a mass withdrawal. Our local level approach means working with you and your customers to move them off copper to new technologies, such as fibre. This first trial will form our baseline and provide us all with learnings. 

Cabinet selection for this trial is based on areas with low numbers of copper connections and where fibre has been available for over two years. Not every RSP will have customers in our first trial, because our trial is small, targeted and based on cabinet areas.

Chorus will be sharing lists of impacted consumers and cabinet areas with RSPs three  weeks ahead of the first trial. Subsequent RSP notifications will be at the same time as consumer notifications as specified in the Code. 


New trial information

Over May to December 2021, our plan is to notify up to approximately 4,000 consumers, spanning across an estimated 400 cabinet areas. These plans could change subject to how the first trial goes, but give an indication of how we expect the program to evolve.


Information for consumers 

The Copper Withdrawal Code requires Chorus to provide clear, detailed, easily accessible information to consumers. Our teams have been working hard to ensure that with this information, consumers understand the process and their options, and feel equipped to make a decision.

This information can be used to complement or as a reference in conversations with your teams and / or customers (if your customers are impacted in the first trial). 


  1. The first of these communications, a notice addressed to the Occupant, will be sent out via NZ Post and is expected to be in consumer mailboxes by 15 March 2021. [See letter and brochure below.]  
  2. A dedicated web page to cover all things related to copper withdrawal is currently being created on the Chorus website for consumers. This page will be live on 1 March 2021.   
  3. We have also created a unique service provider webpage for you, our customers, to house all the key information you need for this programme as we progress through trials. 


Insights from RSP workshops 

Thank you to all RSP representatives for attending our workshops over the last few months. They have helped us learn what is most important to you, understand challenges we may not have thought of and also get to know some of the key people we’ll be working with on an ongoing basis throughout the trials. We plan to continue this collaborative approach as much as possible so we can stay aligned and ensure consumers have all the information and support they need through the process.

With initial RSP workshops complete, we’ve collated questions, concerns, and thoughts you’ve raised through the sessions. We’ve compiled them into an FAQ, along with our response and perspective, with regards to our first trial.  

View the FAQs


Key Dates

17 February

Chorus update, collateral and FAQs shared with RSPs

22 February

Advance notification notice to the RSPs of impacted consumers

15 March

Trial start date (letters in mailboxes)

15 March - April

Chorus and RSPs ongoing collaboration and learnings for trial 1



For any queries, please contact your Account Manager.