Month end often sees a number of changes to NZ broadband plans from a number of the New Zealand internet providers and this month seems to be no exception. Spark, one of the big two broadband providers in New Zealand has announced a raft of changes to its broadband plans as it responds to the changing demands of a data hungry nation that New Zealand has become.
There was a press release today that announced Spark has responded to growing demand for data by increasing broadband plan allowances by 50%... however this does also mean a change to some prices.
There are a raft of changes, mostly to the capped data plans that Spark offers… although with average data consumption per household in NZ now comfortable over 100Gb per month why they still have 60Gb capped plans we’re not too sure but I guess there must be some low usage customers out there to justify these capped plans, although if you are on one of these capped Spark broadband plans make sure you compare broadband providers now because there are many other cheap internet providers in NZ (including Spark subsidiary Skinny Broadband) which offer a variety of cheap internet plans and by using Broadband Compare you can find the cheapest broadband in NZ.
Well done to Spark for simplifying their broadband plans but be sure to compare internet providers at Broadband Compare just to double check that the plan you are moving to is as good as it seems…
The full Spark Broadband Press Release from 29th August 2016 is copied below:
Spark has announced today that the majority of its home and many of its business broadband customers will receive up to 50% more data on their plans.
Jason Paris, CEO of Spark Home Mobile and Business, explains, “Customers are using more data in their daily lives. Average data usage on Spark’s broadband networks grew by 37% in 2014 and by 67% in 2015. From streaming their favourite shows, to video calling their families, there’s a clear trend for increased data usage across the board. We’re therefore changing our plans to include data allowances that reflect their changing needs at a competitive price.”
The majority of Spark’s broadband customers will receive more data from the new plans. Home customers on a 40GB plan will receive a data increase to 60GB and those on an 80GB plan will get an increase to 120GB, across ADSL, VDSL, fibre and wireless broadband. Business customers on 30GB bundles will receive a data increase to 50GB and those on 80GB plans will get an increase to 120GB, across ADSL, VDSL and wireless broadband.
Simplifying Spark’s broadband plans
With the growing number of internet access options – ADSL and VDSL over copper, fibre and wireless broadband – customers have been telling Spark that the range of broadband plans has become harder to understand.
Mr Paris says, “Spark has simplified pricing and data allowances across our broadband plans. This means that the cost of our Home fibre and Home and Business urban wireless broadband plans is now aligned to the cost of our Home and Business copper plans – and that customers can easily compare and select the best broadband connection available to them at their place.”
Price increases for a small minority of customers
Looking at the overall picture, around 85% of Spark Home customers and over 99% of Spark Business customers will either receive additional data at no extra cost – or won’t be affected by these changes. However, Spark are introducing price increases for a small proportion of broadband customers.
As more customers use more data – and more customers move to unlimited plans – the cost to provide broadband services has increased. First, the wholesale charges that ISPs like Spark pay lines companies on connections is increasing annually. Second, Spark has been investing in increased local and international data capacity.
Mr Paris explains, “Plan simplification and future proofing of our costs mean that Spark will be raising prices on some of our Home fibre and wireless broadband plans by $5 per month – and on some of our Business wireless broadband bundles by $3 per month. However, we won’t pass these costs on to Home customers until September 2017 and Business customers until September 2018: although they will see the new price on their bill, they will also see a credit covering the increased price.”
This will only impact a small minority of Spark’s broadband customers – and half of these impacted customers will also receive a data increase.
Postponing the cost to existing customers for 12 months
These changes come into effect from 6 September for any new customers. However, to help existing customers transition to new prices, Spark will cover this cost until September 2017 for Home customers and September 2018 for Business customers, no matter when they started their contract. All customers who are on a plan with a price increase will receive a credit on their bill for the same amount, so they won’t feel the additional cost.
Spark Home Broadband customers
Customers on capped copper (ADSL and VDSL) plans will receive 50% more data, at no additional cost. This only applies to customers on our current plans; those on older plans that Spark doesn’t sell anymore won’t see any change to their data.
Customers on unlimited copper (ADSL and VDSL) plans won’t be affected at all by these changes.
Customers on capped wireless will receive 50% more data, sometimes at no cost and sometimes incurring an additional $5.
Customers on capped Fibre plans will receive 50% more data, sometimes at no cost and sometimes incurring an additional $5. However, Spark are stopping selling naked capped Fibre plans to new customers, so existing customers on these plans won’t see any changes to their data or price.
Customers on our unlimited Fibre 30 and Fibre 100 plans will incur a price increase of $5.
Customers on our unlimited Fibre 200 plans will be unaffected.
Customers on our Gigatown plans are unaffected.
Spark Business Broadband customers
Customers on 30GB ADSL and VDSL bundles will receive 20GB more data, at no additional cost
Customers on 30GB Wireless Bundle will receive 20GB more data, while customers on 80GB Wireless Bundle will receive 40GB more data, at a price increase of $4.