Faster internet speeds are now within reach of almost two-thirds of Kiwi homes and businesses, as the country’s largest broadband provider begins offering Ultra VDSL to customers from today.
VDSL (which stands for Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) offers the best internet experience currently available via traditional copper phone lines. Customers on Telecom Ultra VDSL will be able to download files and online content on average around three times as fast, and upload nearly 10 times as fast, as conventional (ADSL) broadband..
Telecom Ultra VDSL packages start at $95 per month for a 80GB plan, with the largest data plan – 500GB – costing customers $129 per month. These prices are comparable to Telecom’s Ultra Fibre products and at a slight premium to standard broadband. The company recently announced it had boosted all 50GB broadband plans to 80GB at no extra charge to enable a more generous data allowance for an increasingly data-hungry customer base.
Customers signing up for Telecom Ultra VDSL will have a technician visit their home or business premise to install a master splitter on their wiring and set-up a new VDSL capable modem – a relatively minor job which will usually take no more than an hour or two.
For home customers there will be an installation fee of $99. Business customers can access VDSL at the same price as standard Business ADSL plans with a $199 installation fee.
Chris Quin, Telecom Retail CEO believes that VDSL will give customers a taste of the significant benefits that fibre will bring as the government-led UFB rollout continues.
“Our customers tell us that they want faster, better broadband, and they want it now. While we are convinced that fibre will be the main driver of New Zealand’s future internet connectivity, fewer than one in ten Kiwis can get fibre today and its availability will not match that of current broadband infrastructure for three or four years yet, by current estimates. In contrast, around 60% of New Zealanders currently live and work in areas where VDSL is a great solution for better, faster broadband right now. VDSL can play a vital role in satisfying consumers’ immediate demands for a smoother, faster internet experience.”
As Telecom views VDSL as a stepping stone to fibre when it becomes available in a particular area, the company has committed to ensuring Ultra VDSL customers have the flexibility to upgrade their connection when making the decision to shift to Telecom Ultra Fibre in the future. Ultra Fibre’s even greater speed, capacity and consistency of service (as well as lower latency) than copper broadband means it will be the connection of choice for customers with a rapidly growing demand for data.
In addition, the Government’s ongoing Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is rolling out broadband infrastructure to many smaller towns and rural communities over the next few years. These communities, which are not part of the UFB rollout, will have access to VDSL through Telecom at the same time as they get broadband availability.
Mr Quin noted that VDSL availability was not as pervasive as conventional ADSL broadband, as users need to be within a one kilometre distance of their nearest telephone exchange or cabinet for the technology to work effectively.
“The products, services and experiences our customers love, such as streaming entertainment programming, sports viewing, social media and real-time business applications, are increasingly going online. We recognise our role in ushering in this new era of internet connectivity with the best online experiences possible via the best communications technology on offer,” Mr Quin commented.