Spark offers broadband to the Max

​Spark has launched the Spark Fibre MAX service over the UFB network, offering downstream speeds with a theoretical maximum of 1Gbps

Spark has launched the Spark Fibre MAX service over the UFB network, offering downstream speeds with a theoretical maximum of 1Gbps, saying it should provide users with between 700Mbps and 900Mbps downstream and 400Mbps upstream.

Spark says new service is available on UFB connections anywhere in New Zealand, with a few exceptions. It will not be available in Queenstown, Greymouth, Oamaru or Whakatane until further notice. Availability can be checked using Spark’s address checker.

Also, Spark says customers might need to make significant investments in their in-home equipment to take advantage of the elevated speeds. It recommends “a high-spec modem … such as at the Huawei HG659b from Spark,” but does not say precisely what specs are required.

It also recommends “a high-spec laptop or PC (for example, Intel i5-3550 3.3Ghz CPU, with 8GB RAM running Windows 10 Home 64 bit operating system).”

And the final requirement might prove impractical for many users: they are encouraged to eschew WiFi in favour of a direct Ethernet connection into the modem.

Residential customers can purchase a bundled broadband and home phone Fibre MAX plan with unlimited data for $149.99/ month – or a broadband only Fibre MAX plan with unlimited data for $139.99/ month. Businesses can purchase a bundled broadband and landline Fibre MAX plan with unlimited data for $212.85 ex GST – or a broadband only Fibre MAX plan with unlimited data for $179.85 ex GST.

Spark acquires all of Vocus’ Connect 8

Spark has announced that it is to buy the remaining 50 percent of fibre construction business Connect 8 from its joint venture partner, Vocus Communications, for an undisclosed sum.

The joint venture was formed in February 2015 to increase fibre network rollout capability to meet growing demand for digital services from businesses and consumers.

Spark said the move would enables it to continue its fibre replacement programme, support the expansion of its optical transport network, and enable it to establish its own fibre in the CBDs of major markets such as Wellington and Auckland. It said that Connect 8 would continue to roll out fibre and other telecommunications assets for other telcos.

Spark COO, Mark Beder, said: “Given our extensive existing fibre footprint and our goals to be the market leader in data and digital services, full ownership of Connect 8 makes strategic sense. It gives us even more flexibility, capacity, and control over our fibre construction and delivery.”

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