The internet is an integral part of our lives, whether we’re using it for work, entertainment or social time on our devices. And Canstar’s latest research highlights just how reliant Kiwis have become on broadband providers for their entertainment needs.
Our latest research shows 75% of us are watching TV online, and nearly half (47%) subscribe to streaming services, such as Netflix and NEON. In total, nearly one third (28%) are using the internet for all their TV viewing!
But life can grind to a frustrating halt when the internet isn’t as speedy as we’d like, or the service from our providers isn’t up to the mark. And, indeed, Canstar’s research shows that the majority of New Zealanders are not happy with their internet providers: 56% say they don’t feel that they’re getting the best value for money.
But choosing the right broadband provider isn’t an easy process. While there are plenty of providers out there, trying to work out which offers the best service and value for money can be overwhelming. And this is where Canstar Blue can help. As part of our mission to help guide NZ consumers, we canvassed the opinions of broadband customers across a range of categories to measure and track their satisfaction.
To decide which internet provider offers the best level of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:
- Overall Satisfaction
- Value for Money
- Network Performance
- Customer Service
- Clarity of Contract Terms
- Flexibility of Contract
- Bill Clarity
Coming out on top for the second year in a row, and taking home Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Broadband, is NOW, which tops our internet ranking by scoring Five Stars in five of the above categories.
Also scoring highly is Skinny, which has an impressive mix of 4- and 5-Star rankings.
How Kiwis are using broadband
The pandemic has offered some Kiwis the opportunity to get comfortable working from home: 17% say they do more out-of-hours work from home because they’re connected to the internet. But being online comes with its distractions: 28% say they use their personal social media at work (e.g. Facebook, Twitter).
What drives broadband satisfaction?
Value for money is important for Kiwis in most Canstar-compared products, and broadband is no exception. Of those in our survey, 28% rank Value for Money as their top driver of satisfaction. Network Performance follows at 26%, and Customer Service at 25%.
Kiwi concerns around broadband use
Of those surveyed, 35% say they worry that children can access unsuitable content too easily on the internet. A further 16% say they worry about the amount of time their children spend online. Personal data safety is a top concern too: 45% worry about how safe their online personal data is, and 31% say someone has tried to scam them online.
Broadband deals: factors to keep in mind
Some factors to consider when weighing up plans include:
- Data limit – a cheaper plan with a data cap may be suitable if you’re a light internet user. However it’s important to remember that the amount of data used can quickly add up. This is especially true if multiple devices are accessing a home network, and if data-intensive services, such as video streaming, are used regularly.
- Data speed – there’s great variety in the speeds offered with different plans. Plans with slower speeds can be cheaper. However, as with data limits, it’s important to match a plan to your usage requirements. And as recent research shows, even though retailers around the country are offering plans with download speeds nearing 1Gbps (gigabits per second: 1000Mbps), for most households, regular download/upload speeds of 100/20Mbps are more than adequate. For more details on this, read our story Super-fast Broadband Plans: How Fast is Fast Enough?
- Contract length – while some plans are monthly, others require you to sign up for a year. It’s worthwhile keeping in mind that long-term plans often come with extra incentives. These include free routers and mesh wi-fi tech and reduced sign-up fees. However, early termination fees can also apply.
- Additional incentives – what else comes with the plan? Some retailers include free subscriptions to streaming services, or initial sign-up incentives, providing reduced monthly rates.
- Time to bundle – you might also be able to bundle other services, such as a home phone line, mobile phone package, or an electricity service, potentially leading to additional savings. You can read more about these bundles here!
- Equipment requirements – does a plan come with a router, and, if so, is the router sufficient for your needs? The router is a key piece of equipment in delivering a smooth internet service, and it’s worthwhile taking steps to ensure your router is up to the task.
NOW plan offers 2021
(As plans change all the time, you’ll need to confirm with Now the specific plans that are available, prices correct as of 12/05/2021.) For a comparison of other retailers’ plans check out our story: NZ’s Best Broadband Deals.
NOW’s broadband plans comprise fibre, ADSL and VDSL offerings on a 12-month contract, ranging from its 125 GB plan to unlimited plans. New customers have the option of using their own router, or purchasing a router when signing up (for a one-off fee or via monthly payments). There are also the options of adding a home phone line, and purchasing an in-home or remote home tech assist membership.
NOW’s broadband plans comprise fibre, ADSL and VDSL offerings on a 12-month contract, ranging from its 125 GB plan to unlimited plans.
New customers have the option of using their own router, or purchasing a router when signing up (for a one-off fee or via monthly payments). There are also the options of adding a home phone line, and purchasing an in-home or remote home tech assist membership.
|Plan||Monthly data limit||Speed: (Mbps: download/upload)||Cost (per month)*|
|125 GB||125 GB||Fibre: 100/20
|Ultra Unlimited||Unlimited||Fibre: 900/400||$99|
Finding the best and fastest broadband plans
Ultimately, if you’re after the best and fastest broadband deal, it’s always worth doing a little research. To help you get a clearer picture of broadband providers in NZ, Canstar Blue rates all the big providers in the market annually. We survey thousands of broadband customers and ask them to score their providers across categories including Value for Money, Network Performance and Customer Service.
Canstar Blue’s 2021 review of NZ internet providers compares providers against a range of categories and awards the best our 5 Star rating. For more information, just click on the big button below.
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