Oh my. Slingshot's entry-level UFB plan has a lousy, lousy data cap
"Totally underwhelming. Like dropping a few metal washers into a blind man's begging bowl."Featured comment
UPDATE: CallPlus boss Mark Callander has told NBR ONLINE that Slingshot's fibre plan went live with "an outdated table".
The entry-level plans should have read 20GB, not 10GB. The company is updating its website now.
Still, my criticism stands: 20GB is still puny by fibre standards.
Asked what was the point of fibre with such a modest, copper-world data cap, Mr Callander told NBR:
"There are a range of plan options to suit the needs of all customers – not all customers are created equal.
"For example, customers that are price conscious can still get many of the benefits of fibre for the same price, or less, than what they paying today for copper based services – this includes things like actually being able to send photos or upload large files.
"This is something that is not possible on most copper-based services today.
"Download speeds will obviously improve due to the technology and also the fact that issues such as home wiring issues will be addressed and the improved reliability of fibre.
"On the other end of the spectrum, customers can get a 250GB broadband plan which includes a homeline and a range of smart phone features for just $102 which is great value."
Earlier plans for unlimited fibre data caps were put on hold after the demise of Pacific Fibre, which was "a real blow," Mr Callander says.
I've given Orcon and Snap some jip for launching fibre with cheap entry-level month plans ($75) ... but hamstrung with lousy datacaps of 25GB and 30GB respectively.
If your internet use is that modest (and 25GB does not go far once you start downloading movies, backing up files to the cloud or any other serious broadband use) then you may as well stay on copper.
They know this, and are just waiting to swing iin with an upsell (in its defence, Snap said it had a 145GB a month free top-up for the first 12 months, plus a 500GB top up for $70 a month).
But Slingshot (a division of CallPlus) has blown both away by beating them on entry-level price ($72 a month) but a joke data cap of 10GB at that price-point.
So much for CallPlus CEO Mark Callander's hints that Slingshot's home fibre plans (like its school plans launched last month) might have unlimited data.
(I don't have so much of a problem with the entry-level speed of 30Mbit/s and 10Mbit/s up given that it's a lot closer to true speed, unlike heavily-contended copper.)
The good news is that CallPlus higher-end plans (see table below) look more realistic, and a lot better value for money.
Last week's rally proved a little too hard to sustain at the start of the week as investors reassessed equity valuations near five-year highs and you get data rollover if you don't hit your monthly limit (which CallPlus is pitching as a New Zealand first).
You also get 10GB of free online backup (nice touch).
Slingshot's "Turbo" plans will be faster than Starter plans, the ISP says, thanks to more international bandwidth being on tap for Turbo users (one competitor has already grumbled you could paint it as the reverse. Starter users are gettng their data shaped).
Presuming they get their install right, it's good to see Orcon, Snap and CallPlus jumping into the fibre market.
If you're in one of the 76,000 or so premises lucky enough to have UFB fibre running past them so far, you've not got another option.
So check out Slingshot's full range of plans here (and the table below; all UFB plans include VoIP, or the ability to make phone calls over the internet).
And if you are on Snap, Orcon or Slingshot, and have UFB at hand, get a wriggle on – it's still not clear, amid endless government shillyshallying, whether Chorus' free kerb to home connection deal will last beyond the end of this year.
Click table to enlarge.