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New Zealand fibre war: Chorus vs Spark

08 Nov 2016

Chorus has responded to Spark’s recent 'Upgrade New Zealand' fibre announcements, saying customers should get more informed about their broadband choices.

The company says there are many more good choices for customers than just two options with one provider.

“Of course we encourage as many customers as possible to get onto fibre wherever it is available, as it is unquestionably the superior service,” says Tim Harris, Chief Commercial Officer of Chorus. 

“The more challenging question for customers is what type of connection to choose if they are not yet ready to move to fibre.”

Harris explains that Chorus strongly encourages its customers to check out independent websites such as glimp.co.nz or broadbandcompare.co.nz to review the full range of products and pricing available to them, rather than relying on their service provider to tell them what’s best.

“We’ve been saying for some time that many in New Zealand could upgrade their broadband for little or no extra cost and our own website, chorus.co.nz, can help identify if this is case,” he says.

Harris also mentions that Spark’s recent statement contains several errors that Chorus wishes to correct.

Spark’s CEO Jason Paris announced the programme called ‘Upgrade New Zealand’, encouraging all customers to move on from Chorus’ copper broadband as it is ‘a legacy technology; they are getting older and are increasingly prone to faults’.

In response, Harris says that Spark is actually selling its customers short.  

“Wireless broadband cannot match copper-based VDSL broadband for consistency of performance, reliability at peak times and the ability to have broadband without data caps,” he explains.

“More than 50% of broadband connections are now unlimited, as customers come to expect to be able to use broadband without limits, and data use is growing rapidly. The uptake of unlimited plans has grown by 33% in just the last year and no fixed wireless provider is offering uncapped data plans.”

Chorus also strongly refutes Spark’s claim of its copper network having high level faults.

“We openly acknowledge that for a small proportion of older ADSL broadband customers that wireless broadband is likely to provide a better service, and we will openly tell customers that,” says Harris.

“However, it is confusing for customers to be given misleading information by service providers with their own agenda, which is why we strongly encourage customers to undertake independent research to get the very best broadband available to them," he explains.

"This is not necessarily the product their service provider always wants to sell them.”

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