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Orcon launches Crown fibre plans from $75/month; rivals miffed

UPDATE: Orcon told NBR that customers on its fibre plan will be charged $2 per GB once they go over their monthly cap. The company expects to introduce text and email warnings.

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The public-private, $1.35 billion Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) roll-out reached the sharp end, with the first major retail plans announced.

Orcon CEO Scott Bartlett said this morning his company would offer fibre plans from today.

Mr Bartlett said an entry-level home fibre plan would cost $75 - the same as a the company's mainstream coppery/DSL plan today - for a 30Mbit/s down, 10Mbit/s up connection with a 30GB cap.

The pricing will look even more attractive once averaging of urban and rural copper prices kicks in over coming months under the Telecommunictions Ammendment Act that enabled the UFB - pushing up copper/DSL prices by around 20%.

30Mbit/s is more than three times the speed most get from a copper/DSL connection, though well shy of the 100Mbit/s, in both directions, that a fibre connection can achieve.

Fibre for business will start at $169 plus GST ($199 incl GST) for a 30Mbit/s up/10Mbit/s down service, a 30GB data cap and two voice lines.

For home plans, there will be an $89 a month for 60GB option, $99 for 100GB and $199 for a one terabyte 1000GB).

People will have to pay extra for full fibre speed. A 100Mbit/s download plan will cost $110 with a 30GB cap.

Those living in areas including Christchurch, Whangarei, Tauranga, Rotorua, and the Auckland suburbs of Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Mt Albert, as well as parts of Remuera, the North Shore and the East Tamaki Business Park who are getting fibre in the next four to six weeks can order fibre plans now through Orcon's website (which features an address finder - playing up when NBR visited).

Mr Bartlett said fibre connections would not suffer the contention (overloading) problems that stopped copper/DSL customers achieving anything like theoretical top speeds at peak times.

Connection will be free for the first wave of customers.

Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe told NBR his company - which won the lion's share of the wholesale UFB rollout - was providing residential connections free to retail ISPs such as Orcon.

It was up to the ISP if it charged any connection fee.

Mr Bartlett said the "first wave of customers" would not be charged any residential connection fee.

Chrischurch UFB wholesale winner Enable, and Ultrafast Fibre (the contract holder for areas including Hamilton, Tauranga, Whanganui and Rotorua) are also following the Crown Fibre Holdings template for free residential connections. In Enable's case, it covers not just running fibre from curb to home, but up to 10m inside your home.

Crown Fibre Holdings standard template pricing calls for business customers to pay a connection fee equivalent of two months' plan charges.

Under the UFB initiative, Crown Fibre Holdings is co-investing in Chorus, Enable and Ultrafast Fibre's wholesale network builds, with the state divesting itself from each public-private venture as the project proceeds over the next decade.

Forcing others hands
Mr Ratcliffe said now that Orcon had launched, he expected customer demand to "force the hand" of other ISPs in the "big give" (Telecom, TelstraClear, Vodafone and CallPlus/Slingshot), whom he expected to announce retail fibre pricing over the next few weeks and months.

CallPlus/Slingshot CEO Mark Callander told NBR, "We will be announcing residential and business plans next month and we will be ready to deliver services when the network is available."

A Vodafone spokeswoman offered, "We have a friendly user trial underway now, which will run for a few months. Once the trial is complete and we're confident of the customer experience, then we'll be ready to take a retail product to market."

TelstraClear spokesman Gary Bowering told NBR, "It is the content that matters and not the speed or delivery mechanism, whether copper, fibre or wireless. We are working on UFB packages that provide our customers with products and services that meet their content needs. These will be announced as soon as the fibre terms and conditions are clear and we can be sure that we are not misleading consumers."

Asked to elaborate on what he meant by "misleading," Mr Bowering replied, "We can't say whether any offer is misleading or not as terms and conditions are still not finalised. Therefore we cannot make an offer with clear terms and conditions. We are simply saying that there is not enough clarity to provide certainty in terms and conditions, and we believe customers are entitled to this clarity before they are asked to make purchasing decisions."

Telecom spokeswoman Katherine Murphy said, "The industry is currently in the trial phase with fully tested products yet to be available from LFCs. But we’re really excited about the opportunities UFB brings, and currently have trials underway and are working to develop innovative and future-ready plans for our customers, which we will announce soon."

Orcon is a fully-owned subsidiary of state-owned company Kordia.

More: orcon.net.nz/fibre

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions
49

If Orcon's page where you type in your address to check for UFB/fibre availability does not work for you (e.g. me using Firefox 11), try www.chorus.co.nz/maps instead.

30GB for $79? That is absolutely appalling.

Next generation broadband has finally arrived, and you get to use it at full speed for two hours and ten minutes a month. This is a joke, right?

What good is UFB if I have to worry about data caps?

It'll never be good enough for some people.

Who knew talking to their prospective Russian brides would take up so much of their precious bandwidth.

maybe that and youtube is what you will use it for. Others have better uses for it mate.

Hopefully this will make broadband prices going down as here in NZ we pay a lot for decent internet access...

No it will not read more carefully and if u remember a faster connection usually pops the older one's prices up by quite a lot

"big give" - bahaha.

Terabyte = the beginning of the end for data caps. Will be sooo good to have broadband that can handle the pace. Looking forward to seeing other RSPs get off the fence and launch their UFB plans. Good on you Orcon.

Terabyte = the beginning of the end for data caps. Will be sooo good to have broadband that can handle the pace. Looking forward to seeing other RSPs get off the fence and launch their UFB plans. Good on you Orcon.

New Zealand....advancing forward while still managing to be left behind.

data caps on fibre? maybe orcon should have advertised on April 1st.

I wouldn't touch Orcon with a 10ft barge pole, their customer service is apalling.

Same here I have been trying to get my mobile roaming for 4 months. again sent them a email 14 days ago reply says we will respond within 5 days 14 days later I am still waiting and phone is still not roaming.

Same here I have been trying to get my mobile roaming for 4 months. again sent them a email 14 days ago reply says we will respond within 5 days 14 days later I am still waiting and phone is still not roaming.

Chris, are you able to get more info out of Orcon as to why their business rates are so much more expensive than residential. The cisco router obviously has to be pain for, but it would be nice to see what Committed Information Rates the bus/res plans have.
If the business rates are more expensive because of a better CIR then that should be advertised.

posibly the QOS for the phone lines and static IP? or better SLAs?

Nothing more than a marketing ploy from Borcon.
UFB means nothing if peering is allowed.
UFB means nothingif we have more fat pipes to the US & Aus.
UFB means nothing with old fashioned copyright business models.
UFB means nothing.

I've been using Fibre Optic Broadband for many many years back in the UK and data caps weren't heard of. All a fast connection means is you'll hit your data cap faster.

Pathetic

Wake up NZ, we're being left behind.

Er you do realise that London has 3 times our population in 1/3rd the area of Auckland? Economies of scale, I am thinking

@Matthew.
you are massively misinformed about what you were using. BT has very minimal rollout of fibre to the home, and it only started a year or two ago. Unless you were on a trial (like some Nzers have been for several years) then you simply bought into marketing about fibre but never really had it. More likley you had coax cable from Virgin, telewest or similar, which is not the same thing at all.

http://reg.hkbn.net/ctigroup_admin/files_upload/140410CTELPR1000MatUS$26E.pdf

http://reg.hkbn.net/ctigroup_admin/files_upload/140410CTELPR1000MatUS$26E.pdf

It doesn't matter if it was Coax, Fibre or Fishing wire. We got unbelievable speeds, unlimited data and all for a fraction of the cost.

The cost, speed and data caps of broadband are holding NZ back.

Just google 'free proxy server'
taiwan works well

or for extra security ' onion router'

It is 2 extra clicks once you are familar

They can't stop a tsunami

Love the Telstra guy saying they'll release when "we can be sure that we are not misleading consumers".
They were happy to release a half-baked T-Box that performs badly, needs to be rebooted regularly, freezes, loses recordings, records wrong channels, etc.
Perhaps Telstra could fix that mess first and then worry about fibre products (see http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=44&topicid=80730&page_no=64 - 64 pages of gripes and still counting!!

Telstra Clear's comments show what a bunch of Muppets they are. Talk about old school BS PR. Blabbed on and said nothing worthy. Sheesh. Orcon blows, period. Sign up if you like losing your hair. Can't wait for uncapped UFB.

Support Jonkey and get even more poop on your plate .. at a premium of course .. our shareholders come first .. it is your patriotic duty to support shareholders .. the amount of money siphoned off is proof of success.

30GB is not much at fibre speed. Its like being given a Ferrari to drive in supermarket aisles.

Just shocking!! That is not good deal and quite frankly still a ripoff. Orcon is now badly run, I just wish the company would go bankrupt so i could purchase it cheap and make it great like it once was.Scott Bartlett is an absolute waste of time & money!

Density is moot, Australia's much sparse than Auckland, and just about as remote as NZ, serviced by the same SCC but due to having more than one pipe their caps are much more reasonable. No matter which angle you look, NZ is on the sad side of the digital divide.

Southern Cross Cables match the NZ-US price with the AU-US price, so NZ'ers reap the benefits of any international cable competition in Australia. Pretty good ay?

Wow, tough crowd.

NZers have issues with Internet access it seems ... or just lots of squeaky wheels lining up for the good oil?

UFB just means another way for the teleco companies to carry on ripping us off ie looking at orcon priceing ,data caps gee it like living in the stone age .
Suppose they have to find a way of paying the ceo over the top pay packets and bounuses

Telecon will be suffering in its jocks. The perception is simple more service for less $ the nerds can witter on all they like, joe public reckons they are getting screwed and thats all that matters.

Orcon, what a disappointment you are. No customer service, no reply to why I had to pay for 1 months service that I never got because we weren't connected but someone was using our line... And the bill I never got by email or in the post, but a debt overdue seemed to make it through. Have not been recommending you at all.....blah!

Orcon, what a disappointment you are. No customer service, no reply to why I had to pay for 1 months service that I never got because we weren't connected but someone was using our line... And the bill I never got by email or in the post, but a debt overdue seemed to make it through. Have not been recommending you at all.....blah!

Maths fail

"Fibre for business will start at $169 plus GST ($199 incl GST) for a 30Mbit/s up/10Mbit/s down service, a 30GB data cap and two voice lines."

$194.35

After experiencing rate limiting/throttling on a premium Orcon plan and truly "third world" customer service I left Orcon some months back and joined Voda - nothing but positive news so far.

UFBB is only availlable in 1% area of Auckland . Pathetic customer service of Orcon and reliablility issues will let you repent if you opt for this . There are all goodies for first wave of customers where there is coverage . So if you are not in the area covered ,you will miss the all goodies offered for initial lot eg No connection fee etc. but chances are there will be compitition from another players such as Telstraclear and Vodafone

Just signed up with Orcon. they are fantastic. Service is good, price is great and the wirless is outstanding.
Makes telecon service and modem etc look like poop, plus it is cheaper and better - did i mention that....

Haha ...good old New Zealand.
Always expecting everything for free.
You wouldn't run your business like you expect the telcos too..
Bunch of whining loosers.

Great its like before you can hose your car for 5 minutes with a sprinkler, now you can shoot a jet but now you only got 2 minutes of water.

I'll buy it but only if I get a date with scott

Latest encoding technology allows 100Gb/s over legacy copper. UFB is the biggest fraud perpetrated on the NZ Public since the last lot of asset sales.

100Gb/s over copper is theoretically possible, but how many people in your street can run at that speed simultaneously (contention ration applies more to copper than fibre). And most of the country's copper is old and degraded quality.

Orcon is revolting. Like Scott Bartlett.

Lightwire now have plans for Hamilton UFB that have no data caps!!!!

would not touch orcon with a barge pole, once they have you on contrach watch out they will screw you!