Trying to track down the best and cheapest broadband plans can be confusing. And at Canstar, we should know. It’s part of our job to be across all the broadband deals in the market. And, actually, to be honest, it’s like a full-time job just keeping across all the broadband deals in the market.
For the casual consumer, trying to discover the best deals can be confusing. There is a range of different services available, from ADSL and VDSL to fixed-wireless broadband and fibre. A range of data allowances, from low to unlimited. Plus different upload/download speeds, and a whole load of bonuses and add-ons offered by different broadband providers.
But, ultimately, most Kiwi homes just want basic, unlimited broadband. Up until the end of last year, the standard speed for fibre connections was 100mbps/20mbps. But Chorus’ recent fibre upgrade means that those speeds have tripled, to 300mbps/100mbps.
As a result of the speed increases, and Chorus hiking its wholesale rates, many providers have re-jigged their plans and pricing recently. But clicking through page after page of plans and details to compare deals can be a long process.
But don’t worry, that’s exactly what Canstar has done, so you can get a clear picture of the basics. In the following table, we’ve compiled all the standard 12-month broadband plans from the main NZ providers that were researched for Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customers Broadband Award, plus newcomers Sky Broadband and Electric Kiwi.
Cheapest broadband plans
All plans are for 300/100Mbps with no home phone line. Unless indicated as an extra, all include a router, although a delivery fee can apply. It’s worth noting that most deals also include early termination fees, should you break your contract early. And many allow you to bring your own compatible router.
|Broadband Provider||Unlimited Broadband Deal
$ Per Month
|2degrees*||$64.67 (Includes current deal: 4 months free on 12-month contract)
($58 with 2degrees Pay Monthly mobile plan)
(Deal also includes 6-months Prime, worth $8/month.
Total saving over 12 months: $48, not included in above price.)
Standard price: $97/month
Modem shipping: $10
|$68.75 (Includes current deal: 1 month free on 12-month contract)
($59.58 with $27 or above 4-weekly Skinny mobile plan)
Save further $5/month for 12 months for BYO modem.
Standard price: $75/month
Only offers broadband + power/gas bundles
|Bundle deals only, no fixed term:
$70: broadband + power + gas
$75: broadband + power
Only offers broadband + power bundles
|$2.65/day (equivalent to $80.60/month)
(Current promotion of one month free
averages out to $73.89/month over 12 months)
|Slingshot*||$78.67 (Includes current promotion:
$100 joining credit on 12-month plan)
(Extra: $5/month modem rental)
Standard price: $87/month
($75 with One NZ pay monthly mobile plan)
(Extra: $4/month modem rental on 12-month plan)
Note: prices to increase by $6/month from 02/10/23
|Sky Broadband||Sky TV subscriber: $75 | Non-subscriber: $85
(Sky Starter Package, $25.99/month)
Current deal: $100 signing-on credit to 12-month contract,
equal to $76.67/month for first 12 months.
|Nova Energy*||$89 broadband only (no fixed term)
$69: broadband + power
Modem costs extra + shipping
|Spark Modem extra $150,
or BYO on fibre plans
(Includes Standard Netflix worth $18.49/month,
equivalent to $78.51/month.
Plus McAfee Security Standard,
worth $4.95/month) (Extra: $106 router)
*$15 one-off modem delivery fee (Prices correct as of 07/08/23)
What’s the deal with the cheapest broadband plans?
As you can see above, most broadband plans cost around $80/month. On paper, Contact and Electric Kiwi all have deals that appear cheap. But to take advantage of their low-cost broadband, you must sign up for power, too, which could cost more than your current electricity provider.
Then there are Skinny and 2degrees’ current deals:
Skinny is offering free broadband for the first month of a 12-month contract, which equates to just $68.75/month. And for those with a Skinny mobile plan, just $58.75/month.
2degrees‘s $64.67/month is one of the best internet-only deals in the market, even before you factor in the discount for bundling with a mobile phone plan… plus you also get free Prime Video for six months, which equates to a further $8/month saving.
So why would you pay $97 for Spark’s broadband when you can get the same internet from Skinny or 2degrees for a lot less? The answer to that poser comes down to the deals and contract lengths. When looking at the different providers, you have to look carefully at what’s on offer.
No frills vs bonuses
Skinny is a no-frills provider. All it does is deliver unlimited broadband. And while its current deal is great, its regular plan price is $75/month; that’s still a good deal, but it’s not miles below what’s on offer from other telcos. The same goes for 2degrees, while its current deal is cheap, after 12 months is up your broadband will cost a whopping $97/month with no freebies (unless you swap to a new deal).
Sign up to Spark, however, and you get free Netflix Standard, worth $18.49/month, indefinitely, as part of the deal. So, if you’re already a Netflix subscriber, your Spark internet will effectively cost you just $78.51. Plus you get McAfee Security Standard, worth $4.95/month, and a $4 discount on a NEON subscription. But it’s only a great deal if you want Netflix or can make use of the other discounts!
The same can be said for Sky Broadband, if you’re a Sky TV customer your broadband will only cost you $75/month– plus you get a $100 signing-on credit. And, likewise, if you’ve a One NZ pay monthly mobile plan, One NZ’s broadband is just $75.
So if you’re willing to bundle your internet, adding either mobile phone plans or power plans, a world of extra savings awaits. But you need to do your homework.
Current cheapest broadband deals include:
- 4 months’ free broadband on a 12-month contract
- 6 months’ free Prime worth $8/m: $48 over 12 months
- $10/month discount across all broadband plans if you have a 2degrees pay monthly phone plan
- Bundle with electricity for $20/month off cost of broadband
- Add your power and get a 10% bundle discount on both your broadband and power
- Add a phone plan and get a $5 monthly discount
- 1 month’s free broadband on 12-month plan
- Save $10 per month on broadband plans while you have an active eligible Skinny mobile plan
- BYO modem and save further $60 over first 12 months
- Current deal: $100 signing-on credit to 12-month contract, equal to $76.66/month for first 12 months, or $66.66/month for Sky TV customers.
- $100 joining credit on 12-month plan
- $20 discount when you bundle broadband and power
- $25 discount when you bundle broadband, power and mobile. Plus an extra $5 / month off for every additional mobile
- Includes Netflix Standard (HD), worth $18.49/m
- Includes McAfee Security Standard, worth $4.95/m
- Add NEON for $13.99/m, usually $17.99/m
- $10/month discount if you already have a One NZ pay monthly phone plan
- Rewards scheme
- SuperWifi, wall-to-wall wi-fi guaranteed or get a $100 account credit
It’s about more than just the cheapest broadband plans
Ultimately, if you’re after the cheapest broadband plan, it’s always worth shopping around. And don’t forget to check the small print. Locking yourself into a two-year deal at a fixed price might be a good deal now. But will it still offer good value 24 months from now, especially if you foresee your needs changing?
And while bundling broadband and power can offer tempting discounts, it’s only a good deal if both services come at reduced prices.
Customer service is also a huge consideration. If you’re not a tech wizard, it’s reassuring to know that your provider offers great technical advice to ensure your broadband is always up and running.
Compare Broadband with Canstar Blue
To help you get a clearer picture of broadband providers in NZ, Canstar Blue rates all the big providers annually. We survey thousands of broadband customers and ask them to score their providers across categories including Overall Satisfaction, Value for Money and Customer Service. We then award the best broadband providers our Star Ratings and Most Satisfied Customer Award.
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Canstar Blue NZ research finalised in April 2023, published in June 2023.
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The table above is an abridged version of our full research, to find out more about NZ’s best broadband providers, just click on the button below.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.