DTS 50 (not out) in Ashburton

Wikipedia tells me that Ashburton township has a population of 19,600, with an additional 12,400 living in the wider district. The town is the 23rd largest urban area in New Zealand and the third-largest urban area in the Canterbury Region, after Christchurch and Timaru.

Ashburton ISP

That means Ashburton is small.

Yet DTS now provides 50 businesses in Ashburton with UFB fibre, either through Chorus or the local fibre provider, Electricity Ashburton Networks (EAN).

Ashburton ISP

Downtown Ashburton

50 may not sound like a big number, and in the wider scheme of things it clearly isn’t, but for a town of less than 20,000 people, it shows how strong the uptake of fibre is in regional NZ. Seriously, if you have ever driven through Ashburton, you will know how limited the demand for business grade fibre appears to be at first glance.

Chorus has 1116 UFB services live in Ashburton. Nationally, on average, 1 in 8 UFB connections is a business service, so a reasonable guess is that Chorus has 139 business services live in Ashburton. What makes me doubt that they have that many business clients live is that our experience shows that Ashburton businesses prefer to deal with EAN wherever possible. This is for a number of reasons, but two big ones are that EAN contributes a lot to the local community, and their installation process is faster and less bureaucratic than Chorus’s.

DTS has 37 business clients on the EAN fibre, and 13 Chorus UFB connections in Ashburton, meaning that 1 out of every 5 connected businesses in town use DTS.

Carrier Ashburton businesses connected via DTS Businesses using fibre (approx.) DTS share of Ashburton business market (approx.)
Electricity Ashburton Networks 37 125* 30%
Chorus 13 120** 11%
All networks 50 245 20%
*based on feedback I received stating that approximately half of the 250 Ashburton businesses within reach of EAN fibre are connected
**slightly reduced from national average to reflect fact Chorus doesn’t have a monopoly in the region.

Over the last 12 months, we have averaged three new connections p/month in Ashburton, meaning that we are increasing market share by 1.2% p/month.

DTS has a greater market share in this small town than in any other centre, but we are using the same successful sales model everywhere, and sales are trending the same way nationally.

My next post will provide more detail on the overall value in the UFB business sector, how that value is being shared, and what that means for the various ISP’s involved.

But for now, I am left to thank the good people at EAN, our channel partners, and especially our clients for helping us to make our foray into Ashburton a success. Give it another 12-18 months and we should have 50% or more of businesses there on the DTS network.

Brendan Ritchie

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