When we last looked at the offerings in Auckland, they were limited. Today there are several suppliers with a range of services.
Telecom dominates; only BCL has network reach to compare, but is working to a business plan that demands it target rural customers before looking at the cities. That leaves Telecom as the only national provider of services, at least until Woosh builds its promised network.
Telecom's DSL offerings run from JetStream Starter, now rehabilitated as an entry-level fast narrowband offering, through to the full-speed JetStream service. Telecom's had two bites of the cherry at launching its new entry-level 256kbit/s service and could have got it right with Surf. Sadly, it's not touched the high end full-speed offering for years; it remains outrageously priced. It's appeal is also limited by a 20 cents/megabyte penalty for any who dare use too much traffic. The other thing to factor into any Telecom offering is the price of the phone line, which starts at just over $25 a month.
TelstraClear is offering new services on its cable network in Wellington, Christchurch and the Kapiti Coast. They show up JetStream up as far as pricing and speed go. The cable product starts where JetStream ends and offers faster plans with higher traffic limits and excess usage levels at a fraction of the cost. The telling point with most of these services is the excess usage charges. Telecom's 20 cents/megabyte ranks as the highest with nearly everyone else charing far less.
Wired Country's offerings are about to be launched in Auckland central and the prices below are from Ihug and ICONZ's south Auckland offerings. Indications are they'll be similar in Auckland central.
Both Telecom and Ihug offer an excess usage throttle instead of charges, which reduces the bit rate to a dial-up speed. TelstraClear offers users the chance to buy "bump packs" of a set number of extra megabytes (100 or 500 for example) for a set price.
I haven't included the set-up costs as those vary and are often subject to waivers and special offers. I also haven't included any bundled pricing as both Telecom and TelstraClear have on offer simply because I'm trying to compare apples with apples. Most of the providers seem to be settling on speeds that are below 1Mbit/s as being fine for the home user. I would think of that as a starting point, but I'm assured that the difference between 256kbit/s and 2Mbit/s is more or less undetectable during regular surfing and only becomes apparent during file transfers or downloads.Brislen is Computerworld Online'sreporter. Send letters for publication in Computerworld to Computerworld Letters.
|JetStream Surf 1GB||256/128||1GB||$0.05/MB||$49.95|
|JetStream Surf 3GB||256/128||3GB||$0.05/MB||$59.95|
|JetStream Surf Flatrate||256/128||10GB||throttled9||$79.95|
|JetStream Home 500 FS||2000/51211||500MB||$0.20/MB||$59.00|
|JetStream Home 1000 FS||2000/51211||1GB||$0.20/MB||$79.95|
|Paradise HighSpeed 1G||2000/512||1GB||$0.0495/MB||$39.95|
|Paradise HighSpeed 5G||2000/512||5GB||$0.0199/MB||$59.95|
|Paradise LightSpeed 10G||10Mbits/1MB||10GB||$0.0149/MB||$139.95|
|Ihug Flat Priced 256||256/256||1500MB12||throttled13||$42.95|
|Ihug Flat Priced 1000||1000/1000||2000MB14||throttled13||$62.95|
|Ihug Flat Priced 2000||2000/2000||5GB15||throttled13||$112.95|
|EzyWireless 256 Un||256/256||unlimited||NA||$65.00|
|BCL Extend Network
|Xtra Wireless 1000||256/128||1000MB||$0.20/MB||$109.95|
|Xtra Wireless 2000||256/128||2000MB||$0.20/MB||$119.95|
|Xtra Wireless 1000 Plus||512/128||1000MB||$0.20/MB||$149.95|
|Xtra Wireless 2000 Plus||512/128||2000MB||$0.20/MB||$159.95|
|Woosh Business 2||350/350||2000MB||$0.125||$122.62|
|Woosh Business 5||350/350||5000MB||$0.125||$223.87|
|Woosh Business 10||350/350||10GB||$0.125||$403.87|
|1: Telecom customers receive a $10/month discount if they also use Telecom for tolls access. Telecom service also requires a home phone line which costs from $25.55 a month.
2: TelstraClear customers must also pay $10.95 a month for a cable modem.
3: Ihug customers must also pay Telecom for a home phone line which costs from $25.55 a month.
4: ICONZ customers must also pay Telecom for a home phone line which costs from $25.55 a month.
5: BCL Extend customers don't need a Telecom phone line
6: Woosh has a "soft cap" approach to traffic that means if you exceed the current median usage by a factor of 10 you will be asked to review your policy. Effectively that's a 7GB limit each month.
7: All prices include GST
8: ICONZ excess traffic charge for international traffic only - national is free.
9: no extra charges but connection speed limited to a maximum of 64kbit/s.
10: international traffic only -- national is uncapped
11: best effort speed -- speed may vary depending on distance from exchange
12: 1500 MB of international peak traffic, with an additional 5GB of international off-peak (2am to 2pm). National traffic is free
13: no extra charges but connection speed limited "to dial-up speed"
14: 2GB of international peak traffic, with an additional 8GB of international off-peak traffic. National traffic is free.
15: 5GB of international peak traffic, with an additional 15GB of international off-peak traffic. National traffic is free.