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[News] Spark Increases Broadband Data Caps



Spark NZ

Spark announced yesterday that the majority of its home and many of its business broadband customers will receive up to 50% more data on their plans.

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.”

The majority of Spark’s broadband customers will receive more data from the new plans. Home customers on a 40GB plan will receive a data increase to 60GB and 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.

Simplifying Spark’s broadband plans

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.”

Price increases for a small minority of customers

Looking at the overall picture, around 85% of Spark Home customers and over 99% of Spark Business customers will either receive additional data at no extra cost – or won’t be affected by these changes. However, Spark are introducing price increases for a small proportion of broadband customers.

As more customers use more data – and more customers move to unlimited plans – the cost to provide broadband services has increased. First, the wholesale charges that ISPs like Spark pay lines companies on connections is increasing annually. Second, Spark has been investing in increased local and international data capacity.

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.”

This will only impact a small minority of Spark’s broadband customers – and half of these impacted customers will also receive a data increase.

Postponing the cost to existing customers for at least 12 months

These changes come into effect from 6 September for any new customers. However, to help existing customers transition to new prices, Spark will cover this cost until September 2017 for Home customers and September 2018 for Business customers, no matter when they started their contract. 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.

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