Fairfax NZ enters the broadband business


An internet provider that offers unlimited data and “lightening fast speeds” will be co-launched by Fairfax Media NZ and New Zealand Fibre Communications Limited.

Stuff Fibre will go head to head with the country’s other internet heavyweights like Spark and Vodafone when it launches publically in the coming weeks.

Stuff Fibre will only offer fibre-optic, ultrafast broadband and will be majority owned by Fairfax.

Managing director of Fairfax NZ, Simon Tong, said there’s room in the fibre market for a retailer that does things differently.

“It makes sense to help solve problems faced by large pockets of our audience,” Mr Tong said.

“We have already been growing parts of the business that aren’t reliant on advertising – such as the successful community network, Neighbourly, and local and national events such as the popular Night Noodle Markets.”

Stuff Fibre takes its name from Fairfax’s flagship news site Stuff.co.nz

Stuff.co.nz has an audience of over 2 million which could be advantageous in promoting the new venture.

Sam Morse will lead the Stuff Fiber team as the company’s managing director.

Mr Morse previously worked at telco Vodafone, as did Stuff Fibre’s chief of customer experience and people Rob Tihanyi.

“Our team has a real depth of experience across the industry,” Mr Morse said.

“We know the customer pain points. We’ve lived and breathed telecommunications, we’ve listened and learned. Stuff Fibre is designed to solve these problems for our customers. It’s an exciting new venture.”

Other key management figures in Stuff Fibre include:

  • Geoff D’Audney, chief technology officer
  • David Chapman-Smith, chief commercial officer and company secretary
  • John Simmons, finance and strategy director.

Stuff Fibre will offer no fixed-term contracts, a local customer service team and a gigabit router for better performance.

“More than 240,000 New Zealand homes are already connected and over 830 new households and businesses connect to fibre every working day.  The demand for fibre is growing rapidly and our research tells us that this is an offer customers have been asking for,” says Morse.

Fairfax’s foray into the broadband business comes as New Zealand’s competition watchdog evaluates the publisher’s proposed merger with NZME.

Stuff Fibre has just entered its final testing phase.

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