Chorus engineer Dyhrberg quits

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 11:35 07/02/2013

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Chorus' top engineer Chris Dyhrberg has unexpectedly quit the company in a development may generate speculation over its ability to meet targets to roll out ultrafast broadband.

Dyhrberg has worked for Chorus and, previously, Telecom for more than 12 years. As head of Chorus' network build team, he was in charge of rolling out Chorus' share of the government-backed UFB and rural broadband networks.

He said he had used the Christmas holidays to reflect on what had been a pretty hectic and busy year.

"I'll be out of the office this week and next week I'll be starting to think about what next for me."

Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe said he had accepted Dyhrberg's resignation with much regret.

Dyhrberg said his departure should not be seen as an indication the UFB project had put the company under too much stress and said "the team" was in pretty good spirits.

Nevertheless, he said the nature of the work had not been entirely as expected.

"It is a very big project and for all of us it has ended up being very different from what we ever anticipated. As we have gone into it you realise it is actually a construction project with a telco focus, as opposed to a telco project with a bit of civil construction going on."

Communications Minister Amy Adams said in August that 76,000 premises had had fibre laid past their door in the first year of the UFB scheme, 6000 more than expected.

However, Chorus needs to slash the cost-per-premise-passed from several thousand dollars to a little over $1000 per premise by the end of the 8.5 year roll-out to meet its financial targets.

It fell 31 schools shy of its June target of laying fibre past 521 schools under the Rural Broadband Initiative. Adams said the Ports of Auckland industrial dispute had had an impact.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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