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1418 posts

Uber Geek


# 181387 13-Oct-2015 21:20
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I got cold-called by Spark tonight offering a tempting deal to switch my broadband over to them.

The offer is a 12-month contract for UFB 30/10, unlimited data, phone included, for $79/month, with a further $10/month discount off my Spark on-account mobile plan.  They are also throwing in the modem (Huawei HG630b) for free.

I'm currently with 2Degrees, having been carried over from Snap.  I had been hoping for Bigpipe to start supporting UFB in Palmerston North, and was planning on switching to them when they went live here (rumoured to be in a month or so), but this offer would give me most of what I'm looking for.  I don't need more than 30/10, the unlimited data is the main thing I'm after, and the phone line included means I will be making a decent saving on my current plan (and works out cheaper than my plan to move to BigPipe and port my phone back to Xnet through VFX).  However, I wanted to check a few things first:

1. My Snap/2Degrees UFB connection has been pretty solid, with no notable outages.  Do I have anything to be concerned about with Spark?

2. The Huawei modem looks pretty basic.  I currently have a Fritzbox 7390, which is okay (but the wifi performance is appalling, with several deadspots in my house). Is the Huawei HG630b better or worse, especially on the wifi front?  Would it be worth trying to upgrade it to the 659b?  Is there a notable performance boost?

Any other fishhooks I need to think about?  Does this sound like a good deal to you?

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725 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Spark NZ

  # 1405458 14-Oct-2015 09:38
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Hi Lizzard, I think you should do it! ;)

1) We have had outages on our Fibre network - mainly due to people loving to put spades/diggers/etc through fibres used for backhaul.  However PM does not fall into this category as we have a BNG there and no backhaul required.  Looking back at the traffic graphs for that handover, I can't spot any outages since that was put into place.  As usual Spark does not guarantee a fault free service, but historically it looks great at PM.

2) The 630 is a real entry level box and I don't think anyone would describe the wifi on it as outstanding.  My understanding is that the wifi is better on the 659 - but seeing as I have neither of them, that's a little hard to quantify personally.  Perhaps someone here who has had both can add some more solid advice on the wifi performance of both boxes.




My views are my own, and may not necessarily represent those of my employer.


ajw

1541 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1405499 14-Oct-2015 09:58
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See if they can make all your jackpoints enabled with dial tone as part of the deal on the VOIP side.

 
 
 
 


1496 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1405508 14-Oct-2015 10:07
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I've got the 630b and it sends wi-fi trouble free at the 30/10 UFB line speed around the house.  House is a typical 100sqm Kiwi wooden box, with centrally located router.

Have just changed from $89 80GB to $99 Unliimited, so $79 is a good deal.    A technician migrated the copper to phone to ONT phone last month, enabled the existing phone jackpoints by joining up the old copper termination point to connect to the ONT port instead.



1418 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1405550 14-Oct-2015 10:44
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Thanks jonb.  Our house is about the same size (bit larger), with pretty thick wooden walls.  The Fritzbox is reasonably central, but still struggles to get wifi to the far end of the house.  As the router will be free, it's probably no loss if it isn't as good as the Fritzbox, but if the next model up is better it would probably make sense to upgrade (if possible) to get the better features.  





1418 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1405552 14-Oct-2015 10:47
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Thanks cbrpilot.  Good to hear about the reliability of the PN network.

ajw - that would have been great, but I forgot to mention it to the installers when UFB was installed about 2 years ago.  As I understand it, they can't do it once the installation has been completed?

725 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Spark NZ

  # 1405554 14-Oct-2015 10:51
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I believe you can go back and get the voice articulated through the home wiring.  It may be an extra cost though - for a change of RSP we wouldn't normally have to get Chorus to send someone out, so while it's nice to have, you may (or may not) find it worth the extra expense.




My views are my own, and may not necessarily represent those of my employer.




1418 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1405562 14-Oct-2015 11:03
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Thanks, interesting to know it can be done retrospectively.  It's probably not worth the cost in our case.  We've actually been debating the merit of keeping our landline.  We only seem to get calls from charity organisations, market researchers, Windows troubleshooting scam artists, and cold-calling salespeople ;)  I can't remember the last time I used it to call someone, or receive a call from a friend or family member.  The only reason I'm keeping it is because it doesn't cost anything extra (at the moment), and I don't know who has our landline only.  These days I only give out my cellphone number in an attempt to "wean" ourselves off relying on the landline for contact.

Back to the topic - it sounds like the deal is a good one.  Still interested to get some additional views about the performance of the router, especially the wifi.  Particularly anyone who has used both the Huawei and the Fritzbox.  Is it any better in terms of range?

 
 
 
 


2065 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1405611 14-Oct-2015 11:56
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Personally, I wouldn't agonize over wireless capability for the whole house. Instead, look at getting another AP cabled to the 'dead' area. 

My add-on AP is behind the TV and all its ethernet ports are used, as well. Audio systems, TVs, Sky, netbook etc all can use cables now. 



1418 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1405612 14-Oct-2015 12:06
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linw: Personally, I wouldn't agonize over wireless capability for the whole house. Instead, look at getting another AP cabled to the 'dead' area. 

My add-on AP is behind the TV and all its ethernet ports are used, as well. Audio systems, TVs, Sky, netbook etc all can use cables now. 


That would be ideal but cabling is a bit tricky where we are (at least for the foreseeable future). I've explored it before and it's not as simple as I hoped. So for now I'm just looking to eke out the best wifi I can from a single device.

4219 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 1405639 14-Oct-2015 12:47
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Lizard1977:
linw: Personally, I wouldn't agonize over wireless capability for the whole house. Instead, look at getting another AP cabled to the 'dead' area. 

My add-on AP is behind the TV and all its ethernet ports are used, as well. Audio systems, TVs, Sky, netbook etc all can use cables now. 


That would be ideal but cabling is a bit tricky where we are (at least for the foreseeable future). I've explored it before and it's not as simple as I hoped. So for now I'm just looking to eke out the best wifi I can from a single device.


I assume you've considered powerline adapters? Work brilliantly in the situations I've used them, for this exact purpose, and saves the hassle of having to lay ethernet between the two devices. As per the post above, I've put an AP behind my parents' TV (given the fibre was installed into a bedroom cupboard), enabling wired connections for the ATV, Freeview Plus box etc, as well as extending the wireless footprint.



1418 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1405646 14-Oct-2015 13:02
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I did try powerline a few years back.  The condition of our (admittedly old) wiring meant that we got pitiful throughput.  However, I might look into it again.  I guess provided the powerline can deliver at least 30mbps then it won't be a bottleneck, considering the UFB connection is only 30/10 (for now, at least).

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