Broadband provider Spark says it is responding to the increased data demands of New Zealand households by increasing plan allowances by up to 50%. However, it comes at a cost for some.
The majority of Spark’s broadband customers will receive more data from the revised plans. Home customers on a 40GB plan will receive a data increase to 60GB, while 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.
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.”
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.”
Around 85% of Spark home customers and over 99% of business customers will either receive additional data at no extra cost – or won’t be affected by these changes, the telco says. However, Spark is introducing price increases for some broadband customers.
As more customers use more data – and more customers move to unlimited plans – the cost to provide broadband services has increased, Spark says.
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.”
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 until the changes come into effect on September 6 2017 for home customers, or September 2018 for business customers.