Pacific Fibre would have meant much cheaper unlimited data – Slingshot boss, as he raises prices

CallPlus CEO Mark Callander

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Chris Keall

Slingshot has increased the cost of its unlimited data plan from $60 to $70 a month – immediately leading to one NBR reader complaining the ISP (part of the CallPlus group) was using Pacific Fibre’s demise as an excuse to raise prices.

“This price change was not based on the Pacific Fibre announcement as the planned build was still a couple of years away,” CallPlus boss Mark Callander told NBR.

“However, if Pacific Fibre proceeded this would have resulted in a significant price reduction for the unlimited plan and it may have been the catalyst for the removal of data caps in NZ completely.”

Fine words.

But Callander says CallPlus put its money where its month was, and had an anchor customer deal with Pacific Fibre. ("Callplus was a wonderfully supportive anchor customer," Pacific Fibre CEO Mark Rushworth confirmed to NBR. Sorry CallPlus, had to check.)

The start-up’s demise is “very disappointing for everyone in NZ,” Callander says.

“A lack of competition in international transit will always make things harder, but more importantly it will delay the potential benefits to both consumers and businesses in NZ.  This announcement will add further pressure in all areas, in particular the government's UFB initiative which removes the local bottleneck for the first time.”

Callander said a 250GB data cap had been introduced at $60 for those who did not want to pay the increased $70 fee for unlimited data.

CallPlus is the fourth largest of the big five ISPs that dominate the market (behind Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear, but ahead of Orcon) with around 150,000 customers.

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3 Comments & Questions

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UFB is useless if we measure and charge data, we should move to a model where we pay for bandwidth. That way Netflix, Spotify and most other rich content streaming business models would work in NZ instead of being over priced and unattractive.

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I think a large number of the people I hear talking about broadband and digital content behave like a bunch of spoilt children. There are economics around bandwidth to NZ, but there are are also economics around scale (NZ is so small that even if a service was launched here, more often than not, it wouldn't pay its own way). Thank goodness for bitch-torrent

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A great pity that Pacific Fibre failed;this means that we will continue to suffer from monopoly pricing.

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