Telecom's UFB plans: fibre for data, copper for voice

Telecom Ultra Fast Broadband plans differentiated by speed and data amounts.

Telecom’s Ultra Fast Broadband plans will be available from tomorrow, but customers connecting to fibre will retain their copper connection.

Announcing the plans at media function today, Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin says residential plans will include a traditional landline rental service.

Quin says it is sticking with PSTN voice delivery in the meantime, but is working on developing VoIP services. During the allocation of assets under structural separation Telecom retained ownership of the PSTN.

Telecom’s UFB plans are differentiated by data and speed*. The cheapest is a residential plan for $95 per month on a 12 month contract with speeds of 30Mbps download and 10Mbps upload and a data cap of 50GB.

The most expensive residential plan is $159 per month for 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload and 500GB of data. Initially the datacap won’t apply, and Telecom will give customers 30-days notice before it is implemented.

The strategy of differentiating plans by data speeds and the amount of data sold was outlined by Telecom CEO Simon Moutter last year.

“Data is the saleable item and will be bought in parcels and volumes, and it’s good for the market to have alternatives that are cheap and low volume and medium and high. Some fast, some slow. Unless you create a diverse range of offers that meet every market, you end up with an unhealthy market,” Moutter told Computerworld in November, adding there is no point in uncapped plans.

“That would be like selling electricity with unlimited electricity for $50 a month; how the hell would that be efficient? That would be insane.”

The initial roll out of Telecom UFB’s service is inside the Chorus footprint, which has around 70 percent of the UFB build. But the telco is trialling with the three other providers – Ultra Fast Fibre in the central North Island, Northpower in Whangarei and Enable Networks in Christchurch. Quin could not give a timetable for when UFB will be available in the market.

Telecom has around 50 percent of the broadband market, but Quin wouldn’t give an estimation of how many UFB connections the telco is expecting to achieve in three months. However, he says that thousands of customers had registered their interest in signing up to UFB plans on the telco’s website.* In addition to residential, there are plans for schools and small businesses. The full list is available here.

* In addition to residential, there are plans for schools and small businesses. The full list is available here.

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