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Kiwi households 'pay more than $100m too much for inferior broadband'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New research released today by Broadband Compare shows that New Zealanders could save between $145 and $471 per year by changing to an Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) plan when it becomes available in their area.

The research was carried out through
Broadband Pulse, the market research and market insights service for the NZ Broadband Sector. Researchers compared the average monthly price from all current residential broadband plans offered by the top 10 broadband providers with nationwide coverage as of 3 Feb 2019. This included any promotional offers for new customers.

Broadband Compare founder and CEO Gavin Male, said that the research is a reminder that consumers can experience great savings by regularly comparing their broadband plans to ensure they are getting the best deal. This is especially true as the ultra-fast fibre broadband (UFB) network continues to rolls out across New Zealand.

The latest government Broadband Deployment report says that 1,399,236 of end users could now connect to a UFB connection. So far only 47.8% of those able to connect have, meaning over 730 000 users are on an outdated connection plan. 87% of New Zealanders will have access to UFB by 2022.

Male says "The research shows that households in areas where fibre broadband has rolled out could change broadband plans to get improved download speeds and save between $145 and $471 per year, whether they are currently on an older copper connection, like ADSL or VDSL, or already on a Fibre broadband plan. This means Kiwi consumers on the older copper connections are spending $105,850,000 too much for a poorer broadband experience."

When upgrading to a fibre broadband connection a number of different options are available. The most popular fibre broadband offering in NZ delivers speeds of up to 100 Mbps, however there is also the option of a Fibre Pro type connection. The Fibre Pro connection offers Gigabit broadband. This is the best in class home broadband available on the fibre network. The faster your connection speed, the faster data moves through it. Which means you can do more in a shorter space of time with a faster connection speed. There are even savings to be had for those already on fibre broadband if they upgrade to Fibre Pro offerings.

A breakdown of potential savings if you change to a Fibre Pro- Broadband Plan:

- A typical user on an ADSL broadband plan could on average save $145.08 a year and improve their connection from 10 to 950Mbps download speed

- A typical user on a VDSL broadband plan could on average save $159.12 a year and improve their connection from 50 to 950 Mbps download speed

- A typical Standard Fibre user could on average save $216.72 a year and improve their connection from 100 or 200 Mbps to 950Mbps download speed

- A current Fibre Pro user on average could even save $471.48 a year if they switched to a new Fibre Pro plan.

Male says, "Interestingly, the research shows that if you are already on a Fibre Broadband Plan it is still worth looking at new plans available, as this is where consumer could experience the biggest savings of $471.48 a year by switching to a new plan and if you are already on a fibre broadband connection it is incredibly quick and simple to switch."

For Standard Fibre plans, Spark customers appear to be the worst off being able to save $600.84 a year if they switch through Broadband Compare to a new user Standard Fibre plan with Slingshot.

With Vodafone hiking the price of all its ultrafast, copper and cable broadband plans by $3 a month from February, broadband bills will go up this month for about 400,000 NZ households, so there has never been a better time to look at alternative providers and plans.

Websites like Broadband Compare allow users to compare 1167 broadband plans from 134 Internet Service Providers, including regional and specialist providers. You can easily check your address to see the best deal available at your address, and any extra fees like routers or connection fees. Remember to check your current broadband plan for any termination fees.

Internet plan prices and how you could get a better plan for less money

Connection type

ADSL VDSL Standard Fibre Standard Fibre Fibre Pro- Fibre Pro- Provider existing user new user existing user new user 2degrees 87.50 87.50 87.50 117.50 Big Pipe 79.00 89.00 89.00 66.75 119.00 81.75 My Republic 87.49 82.56 110.75 Orcon 94.95 94.95 89.95 76.83 96.21 67.98 Skinny 73.00 73.00 83.00 98.00 Slingshot 87.45 87.45 84.12 62.42 92.45 71.21 Spark 92.99 92.99 112.49 94.99 124.99 Trust Power 86.50 86.50 99.83 136.50 Vodafone 81.24 81.24 91.88 94.99 Voyager 89.00 89.00 96.78 139.00 Average 85.74 86.91 91.71 75.25 112.94 73.65

Monthly cost in NZD

Average download speed for ADSL is 10Mbps, VDSL is 50Mbps, Standard fibre is 100-200Mbps and Fibre Pro- is 950+Mbps

Data Source:

The data is collected by Broadband Compare every week from broadband provider websites. We are comparing only the top 10 NZ broadband providers that offer a nationwide service with ADSL, VDSL and Fibre plans. There are many more national and regional providers.

Average monthly price is from all current residential plans offered by the provider as of 3 Feb 2019.

New user pricing includes any promotional price distributed equally over a 12-month period.

-Fibre Pro broadband operates at a maximum download speed of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). In practice, due to network overheads, the service you get from your broadband provider should achieve peak download speeds above 900Mbps.

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