Reseller News

Chorus defers around $50M of capital spend during virus lockdown

Ebitda guidance unchanged as planned capex slashed

Chorus has reduced its capital expenditure guidance after suspending non-essential field activity to help reduce spread of Covid-19.

Deferred capex during the month-long lockdown will reduce the network company's 2020 gross capital expenditure guidance from a range of $660 million to $700 million to a new range of $610 million to $650 million.

Guidance for individual capital expenditure categories was not being updated at this time.

Planned activity now suspended includes the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) communal rollout, subdivision build, proactive pole replacement, non-essential network relocation, renewal and maintain service activity unless the network is at risk of immediate failure, and door-to-door fibre campaigns.

Chorus was continuing to connect premises to copper and fibre where the customer had no existing fixed line broadband service, or they had essential business or educational requirements not met by an existing broadband service. 

Broadband provisioning work was also being undertaken where customers could upgrade from ADSL to VDSL without the need for a technician visit or when a fibre connection was already in place.

Network restoration activity was continuing as usual, unless that work was inconsistent with the principles of the isolation period.

Chorus said it was working with the broader telecommunications industry to support their delivery of essential connectivity. 

The company had already decided to delay the annual inflation-adjusted increase of wholesale fibre products until at least 1 October and potentially longer.

Chorus added that its fixed line network was in very good shape to support the significant increase in bandwidth demands during the lockdown.

The company's Ebitda guidance for 2020 remained unchanged.