Swapping JetStream plans could pay off

Home users of Telecom's JetStream service have been presented with some hidden savings options following changes in data allowances.

Home users of Telecom's JetStream service have been presented with some hidden savings options following changes in data allowances.

Telecom has increased the data volume allowances on the two lowest plans to 500MB and 1000MB, renaming them Home500 and Home1000, but leaving the pricing at the same level. These are available to residential and home business users, a new distinction; in the past there was only one set of plans for both residential and business customers.

According to Telecom’s website, the business JetStream plans remain unchanged: that is, the lowest one is still Jetstream 600, charged at $69 a month, with 20 cents a megabyte for usage over 600MB (prices include GST).

However, the increased volumes on the residential plans mean that home businesses and telecommuters working from home could save a good chunk of money with some planning.

On a monthly basis, if you are using up more than 500MB, but less than 2400MB, the best value plan is the JetStream Home1000 one. It has the lowest per-MB cost of all the plans at 7 cents and, even though the excess volume charge is 2 cents higher than for the 1500 plan, it is still considerably cheaper for low to moderate data volumes.

In fact, the $199 a month JetStream 1500 plan costs more than the JetStream Home1000 all the way up to 3000MB, by which time the cost is equal at $469. However, if you use up more than 2400MB a month, you are better off with the JetStream 3000 plan, at $349 including GST.

The monthly cost isn’t the best way to figure out which plan is right for you: an annual view is better. If you only go over the volume allocation a few times a year, you might find yourself better off with one of the lower plans. For instance, the difference in fixed annual charges between JetStream Home1000 and JetStream 3000 is a whopping $3360 including GST.

You would have to use up 16,800MB (yes, about 16.5GB) of extra data per year, or 1400MB a month on average, on JetStream Home1000, before it pays to switch to the JetStream 3000 plan. To give you a perspective, that’s more than two full CD-ROM ISO images per month.

A more moderate example: if you generate 2000MB of traffic a month on average, that’s 24,000MB a year. With JetStream 1500, this would cost you: $2388 + (6000 *0.18) = $3468.00. On JetStream Home1000, the cost would be $3228, a saving of $240 a year.

In a similar fashion, if you use up 2500MB a month, Jetstream Home1000 would cost $4428, JetStream 1500 $4548; however, JetStream 3000 is only $4188 a year, and you still have an additional 500MB a month (6000MB) a year to burn through before paying extra.

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