Story image

Stuff's entry into the Ultra Fast Broadband market "out of the blue"

10 Aug 16

It turns out that New Zealand's media agencies are getting in on the ultra-fast broadband rush, as Fairfax Media's news website Stuff announced it will be launching uncapped fibre services in the next three months. 

Stuff Fibre will only offer fibre-optic broadband that will be uncapped with a reported 100 megabit download speed. Stuff will compete directly with the country's other ISPs such as Spark and Vodafone.

While Stuff remains tight-lipped about many of the details such as its prospective growth and operating margins, the company seems to be taking advantage of Kiwis' love for UFB, as demonstrated in the government's latest quarterly report on the UFB and Rural Broadband Initiative.

“We are truly dedicated to being customer first. We’re giving people the freedom to use the internet the way they want, when they want, delivering an experience that unravels the confusion and frustration around fibre internet services,” says Simon Morse, managing director of Stuff Fibre.

Stuff Fibre says that 240,000 of a total 1.5 million homes due to receive UFB so far have done so, meaning there has been interest from providers wanting to get a stake in the market.

Gavin Ellis told Radio New Zealand that the UFB market could either be a winning formula or a very difficult job attracting customers, as the uptake has been quite slow.

Ellis says Fairfax's move into areas that are not traditional advertising revenue structures is part of a diversification strategy, indicating that the company is on a "downward spiral" in advertising revenue.

Furthermore, reports have surfaced that indicate the Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) believes Stuff's branding helps its chances of success, while TUANZ is not concerned about any potential for Stuff to push its own content through its network.

In addition, Fairfax and NZME are currently considering a merger which will make the media content network the largest in New Zealand.

Ellis says the Commerce Commission might take issue with cross promotion of the broadband offering between the two websites.

“We will provide a fibre only service with unlimited data, no fixed term contracts, simple billing and a local call centre," Morse explains.

According to reports, pricing would be "competitive" and customers will be able to control content access into their premises.

“We are entering the final phase of testing and we’ll be taking Stuff Fibre to Kiwis in the coming weeks,” Morse concludes.

Techday has reached out to Spark, Vodafone and Orcon for comment. Vodafone has declined.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."