Choosing a new broadband provider and plan to part money with is not particularly exciting or something to look forward to. But if you’re shopping around for a better deal, then Spark might just be the spark you need to hunt out the next greatest broadband deal for your needs.
Spark provides both broadband internet and mobile phone plans, and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Spark is one of the largest telcos in New Zealand, and as you’ll find out, it offers one of the most comprehensive internet packages in the country. So, let’s see what exactly is in Spark’s broadband arsenal and how the telco compares to other NZ broadband providers.
Spark Broadband Internet Plans
|Connection Type||Data Included||Price From Per Month|
|Naked ADSL, VDSL and Fibre||Unlimited||$94.99|
|Naked ADSL, VDSL and Fibre Homeline||60GB||$84.99|
|Naked Fibre 200||$119.99|
|Fibre 200 Homeline||120GB||$119.99|
|Naked Fibre MAX||$139.99|
|Fibre MAX Homeline||$149.99|
|Home Wireless Naked||120GB||$84.99|
|Home Wireless Homeline||60GB||$84.99|
|Rural Wireless Naked||120GB||$95.99|
|Rural Wireless Homeline||60GB||$95.99|
Source: Spark website
As you can see, there is a large range of broadband plans to suit pretty much every Kiwi. Those lucky enough to be part of the ‘Gigatown’ broadband scheme, you are afforded gigabit internet speeds at similar prices to regular old ADSL and VDSL plans.
- If you opt for a 12 month contract, the WiFi router is free, saving you $198
- Many plans also include free McAfee PC security
- Look out for bonuses like discounted movie tickets with combo upgrades, as well as presale access to concerts and the like just by being a Spark customer
- By bundling with a Spark mobile phone plan you’ll also get various perks and discounts
- A number of the more expensive fibre plans also include free Netflix for 12 months
- Homeline plans include free national calls as standard with the option to add on various international calling packs
Spark is one of few ‘full service’ internet providers in New Zealand. This means that while you do tend to pay a fair bit for your broadband plan, you’ll get a lot of extra bonuses. For example, you can get free Wi-Fi in many places as well as various discounts and rewards to other services. With many of the premium plans, you also get access to Lightbox TV, which is ordinarily worth $12.99 a month. So you may be quite amazed at the prices displayed, but you do get a fair amount of goodies for your dollars.
At this stage there is strong reason to go for an unlimited plan as often they don’t cost much more than the data-capped plans, and the data-capped plans are such a significant step down in terms of data allowed. For worry-free browsing, unlimited plans look to be the way to go.
How does Spark internet compare to other providers?
We know that Spark internet plans tend to be at the more expensive end of town, so you’ll have to take into account all of those extra features you’ll get for your money. But in terms of basic price, this is how Spark lines up with other NZ broadband providers.
(Naked Internet or Homeline)
|Price Per Month From
*Promotional price only
As you can see, Spark is not exactly the cheapest to offer unlimited data, but what it lacks in ‘cheapness’ it more than makes up for with extra perks. What’s more is that both Skinny and 2Degrees offer very cheap prices, but these are only for the first year of a two year plan. After the first year, prices revert to something more bog-standard – $90+ per month.
As we mentioned, Spark isn’t just about broadband. With many plans you also get free Netflix, free Wi-Fi in a lot of places and free Lightbox, which is worth $12.99 a month. You will do well to find better value.
- Orcon offers an Xbox One S plan from $135 a month, with free Apple TV included on some of its plans
- Slingshot offers a free Google Chromecast streaming dongle with some of its plans
As far as home phone bundles go, Spark is a pretty standard affair, with unlimited national calls for an extra $5-$10 a month, which is virtually uniform across the board with other providers. Where Spark stands out is its rural/wireless plan offerings, which can provide much-needed service to those living out of the metro areas and providing reliable internet that can be a great asset to their lives. Prices aren’t cheap, but as Spark infrastructure grows, you can expect prices to come down.
Is a Spark broadband plan worth the money?
Spark is perhaps the largest internet service provider in the country, and its plans demonstrate this. Often its plans at face-value are quite expensive, but when you dig deeper and look at the benefits of Spark you’ll realise you could actually get quite good value for money. For example, its prices for unlimited data are more expensive than some providers, but on many plans you get freebies like free Netflix and free Lightbox, which is worth at least around $20 a month. What’s more is Spark’s vast network affords you free Wi-Fi in a lot of places to the tune of 1GB a data, so you don’t have to use your mobile phone’s data. Even better is you get generous discounts if you bundle your broadband with your Spark mobile phone plan, which can boost value further. For a complete telco ‘experience’ Spark is a little more expensive than the others but that’s more than made up for with the large range of extra perks that comes with it.