TOM PULLAR-STRECKER / STUFF
Chorus offered to upgrade wholesale connections on its common plan to 100 Mbps in September, leaving the ball in the court of ISPs to accept the change.
The country’s three largest internet providers – Spark, Vodafone and Orcon – have all agreed to triple the speed of the country’s most popular ultra-fast broadband plan for free.
This is after agreeing to accept the offers made to all Internet service providers by Chorus and other companies in the UFB network to enable this.
Chorus announced in September that it was ready to upgrade the connections of 600,000 homes and businesses from 100 megabits per second to 300 Mbps at no additional cost – if ISPs wanted it for their customers.
The move was widely seen as an attempt by Chorus to make UFB more attractive compared to the fixed wireless broadband plans which were heavily marketed by Spark and Vodafone.
* Chorus offers to triple the ‘UFB’ speeds free of charge for 600,000 households and businesses
* Satisfaction with fixed wireless broadband has declined since Covid-19 ‘demand challenge’, according to Chorus
* Winners and losers as Chorus smooths out UFB price differences
While it had been assumed that smaller internet providers that did not have competing wireless networks would accept the upgrade offer, there had been speculation about how Spark and Vodafone would react.
Vodafone spokesperson Nicky Preston said it will start upgrading customers on its Fiber 100 to 300 Mbps plan from today.
Customers of the Tuatahi First Fiber (formerly Ultrafast Fiber) and Enable UFB networks in Waikato and Christchurch will benefit from a similar speed jump after these network providers also offer it.
But Vodafone and Spark said the upgrade was not available on Northpower’s network in Northland.
Download speeds on the upgraded 300 Mbps download service will drop from 22 Mbps to 100 Mbps, Vodafone said.
Vodafone chief commercial officer Joe Goddard said customers will get the enhanced service for free without having to take action.
“These are the most popular home fiber plans and, alongside local fiber companies, we’ve essentially tripled the speeds for the same price, which must be a steal on anyone’s books,” he said. he declares.
“While the cost of most products increases as inflation sets in, Internet prices remain an impressive value,” he added.
Spark spokesperson Samantha Smith said it is also currently upgrading its customers for free to higher speeds.
Orcon, the country’s third-largest internet provider, said it would automatically upgrade its customers “in the coming weeks.”
The Trade Commission said on Wednesday that its latest report showed UFB connections performed “considerably better” than fixed wireless or copper-based broadband during the recent period of Covid restrictions, when many people were working from home.
Smith responded that there were differences in the way the various technologies worked and each offered something different to the customer.
Preston said UFB was “ideal for people with access to it, and wireless broadband provides another modern connectivity option without the need for cabling – or in rural areas, sometimes it’s the only option.” “.
The Trade Commission has expressed concerns about the commercialization of various broadband technologies this year, with Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson making it clear in April that he does not want to hear customers being tricked into believing that fixed wireless is a substitute for UFB.