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Snap reveals UFB fibre plans for home, small business

Snap is the ISP to announce UFB fibre plans for home and small business.

Like Orcon, Snap is offering a modest speed (by fibre standards) of 30Mbit/s down/10Mbit/s up speed on its entry-level plan, which is priced to match Orcon's cheapest fibre deal (and mainstream DSL copper broadband) at $75 a month.

Again like Orcon, the entry-level plan has a miserable data cap. Snap is offering 25GB – a monthly allowance better suited to copper.

A VoIP phone line and zero-rated iSky are included in the price.

Residential customers who order a UFB service on a two-year term before October 31 – and get hooked up by December 31 – will receive a 145GB data pack add-on at no charge for the first 12 months of their contract term.

Commercial manager James Koers said this (temporary) top-up addressed NBR's concern about the low standard data allowance.

A $110 UFB plans boosts speed to 100Mbit/s down and 50Mbit/s up, and the data cap to 50GB.

Mr Koers said the $70 550GB data add-on recently added for DSL customers could also be bought by UFB customers to top-up their monthly data allowance.

Other add-ons included unlimited YouTube for $5 a month, and an “All you can eat night-time (1am-7am)" deal that covered three nights of unlimited data downloads for $5.

Small business versions of each plan cost $119 and $149.

Mr Koers told NBR ONLINE residential connection was free in most circumstances (depending on distance from the road and how far fibre had to be laid inside a house).

Like other retail ISPs, Snap was not sure what Chorus – responsible for most of the UFB roll-out – would do once its free connection promotion expired at the end of this year.

Telecom, Vodafone, TelstraClear and CallPlus/Slingshot have yet to announce their residential UFB plans.

Snap would not comment on residential customer numbers, but Mr Koers said its bigger clients include "Canterbury, Victoria, and Lincoln universities, a number of DHBs, councils and government agencies, as well as national corporates."

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions
13

Is this meant to be a news story or an opinion piece?

Seriously what good are these plans if the cabinet in your area hasn't been upgraded and won't be until 2016?!! We've had fibre outside our gate since October 2011. The Fibre company says it's available to us now however our location's cabinet hasn't been upgraded and won't be until 2016. And we're within 2KM of CBD Hamilton. What the hell? This is a sad state of affairs.

miserable data cap?
30GB is 50% more than the average usage in the USA (where there are virtually no datacaps). It is enough for probably 80% of users.
People who want more can buy more.

If you're going to stay under a 25GB or less limit then there is no point in upgrading to fibre and using it's full potential for cloud back up, remote working, video on demand etc etc.

You would blow through 25GB in days.

Orcon and Snap (and competitors who I'm guessing will follow the same model) know 25GB is insufficient (hence Snap's 145GB temporary top-up to avoid a wave of early adopter backlash).

Temporary promotions aside, they're banking on the fact fibre users will be hooked by $75 deals, then upgrade to more realistic plans.

Snap's James Koers told NBR the ISP will monitor feedback and may adjust its data caps.

So, dear readers, feel free to offer your own constructive criticism.

well, y'all out there think the internet is a commodity.... and the only way to make a commodity valuable is to make it scarce...

How much would you pay for food if you were starving???

I'd be bleeding happy to get it at whatever freaking price...but that's right, I can't, despite fibre being at our gate. Useless.

30 Gig is low-ish especially considering the fire-hose a UFB connection can develop in to. If you download computer games, these are hitting 10-15 Gig each. HD and 3D will add gigs to any movie download. Rising media capable devices like iPads and tablets are consuming more and more in high volume content. We haven't even talked about product sure to be around corner in terms of video on demand or IPTV.

Average is a tricky concept. 1 user does nothing and 1 user downloads 60 gig... the average is 30 gig. 1 user paid a normal bill, the other user paid for 30 gig of overage. Both users feel like they over-paid so nobody was happy with the service. Most of these datacap numbers are plucked out of a hat without consideration of what fibre adopters want.

There is no bigger constraint on NZ data usage than the data caps. Copper/fibre doesn't matter nearly as much as the caps. UFB doesn't address this specifically, but Snap (and competitors) must be ready to break this strangle-hold on NZ consumers based on the artificial data cap. That will drive a first wave of fibre uptake.

Data caps in NZ are an absolute joke and effectively render the benefit of faster connections useless.

I have 500Gb of data backed up offsite in two different locations, done over my ADSL connection. Slow to get done, and had to be managed over several months to avoid bankrupting me.

Its probably worth pointing out that those users who want more data can get it. Our largest data pack offers 550GB for $70/m which is extremely competitive when compared to other offers in the marketplace.

In Hamilton Lightwire are selling residential fibre connections for $99 per month with no data caps!!! Their contact number is 0800 12 13 14. I rang and got a great response even though the connection at my house is not available until next year.

I'm glad the offer is competitive, James, but why the artificial cap at all? There is a fixed cost to deliver a service which is usage sensitive, but the world has changed since DSL was built. The volume potentials are a factor of 10 larger, yet the data caps only inch upward. Of course everyone has "upgrade" packages for more data for plus $$$ more a month. Incidentally the real cost of delivering service at 30 gig cap vs. 500 gig cap is near zero. Even heavy users on average don't hit their limits every month. So in the end the service provider pockets a lot more revenue for zero extra overhead. That's nice business if you can sell it. But it falls short of delighting consumers who are already irritated at the limits.

Those complaining about lack of fibre at their premises need to realise that residential isn't (and never has been) the primary focus of the UFB rollout for the first six years - the CFH website says this very clearly on it's front page.

I have just arrived in London for a couple of years (visiting grand children) and for £34 per month ($65) - on a 12 month contract I have a100Mbit connection (to be upgraded to 120Mbit by Christmas). unlimited downloads (fair usage) and by fair usage they say I can download 20 gig per day between 1000 and 1500 and a further 10gig per day between 1600 and 2100 without being traffic managed. I get VOIP for £2 per month plus usage (which is real cheap)

The biggest disaster of course for NZ is the collapse of Pacific Fibre - we absolutely need more independent data pipes coming out of NZ for us to move forward into fully participating in the world for areas such as selling and delivering international services. I am working on a project in Sweden from the UK. Members of my team reside in Poland, Switzerland, USA, India, Germany (as far as I know so far), we are all virtually connected.

I did work on UK projects from my home on Waiheke Island but it was a slow connection and I had to use a few tricks to be productive.