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Spark has extended its streamlined street-in-a-week fibre installation trial to include Chorus UFB coverage areas.

The goal is to spend a week focusing on fibre installations for residents of a single street. This means fast-tracking connections and giving customers a specific day for their installation.

Last month Spark began a similar project with Ultrafast Fibre.

Spark’s first foray with Chorus will be in Whakatane in the week starting December 12. It says it will upgrade as many as 400 homes that now have Spark copper broadband connections to UFB fibre.

In theory UFB installs should take about a week to ten days. In practice the process is often prolonged and involves three site visits. Normally homeowners need to be on site for at least two of the visits and they usually happen on different days.

Spark says concentrating teams and resources within a small geographic area for a week means it and Chorus can deliver an accelerated installation process. The teams work collaboratively on the jobs. It also means customers should only need to be at home for a single day.

It’s interesting to see Spark and Chorus co-operating on this project. Since separation, the two companies have been wary of getting too close to each other. The Commerce Commission would take an interest if relations were too cosy.

On the other hand, there was a cooling of relations earlier in the year when Spark ran an aggressive campaign criticising the copper network and pushing fixed wireless broadband as an  alternative.

The pair both stand to gain if they can move customers on to fibre. So a degree of co-operation makes sense.