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BDFL - Memuneh
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#272774 15-Jul-2020 10:52
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Just received:

 

 

Spark is starting the next phase of its landline voice calling upgrade, starting with 1,000 home and business customers spread across Devonport, Auckland and Miramar, Wellington.

 

The upgrade will move customers off an end-of-life voice calling technology onto modern alternatives that are already used by the majority of kiwis across the country – voice over wireless and voice over fibre.

 

What is changing?

 

There are three ways customers ‘plug in’ to Spark’s network to make a voice call from a landline phone:

 

     

  1. Voice over wireless: the home phone connects to Spark’s mobile towers, like a mobile phone does.
  2. Voice over fibre: the home phone connects to the Ultra-Fast Broadband network via underground fibre optic cables that are connected to the house. 
  3. Voice over copper (sometimes called the Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN): the home phone connects to a network of switches over copper lines that are connected to the house.

 

The PSTN is at the end of its lifecycle and needs to be replaced using new technologies – meaning Spark customers need to move to voice over wireless or voice over fibre. Because some of Spark’s broadband over copper services are also delivered through systems associated with these old switches, Spark has also made the decision to withdraw all of its copper based broadband services in these areas.

 

What does the change mean for customers?

 

For the majority of customers this will be a simple change and they will pay the same or less than they do now for the new service.

 

In September Spark will send customers in Devonport and Miramar information on the options they have available to them through Spark at their address – voice over wireless, voice over fibre, or both. Spark’s copper broadband customers will also receive the options available to them.

 

If customers choose to move to Spark’s voice over wireless, we will send them a new modem and two new wireless handsets, free of charge. Installation is as simple as plugging in the modem.

 

If customers choose to move to Spark’s voice over fibre, we will advise them whether fibre is already available at their property, or whether they need a technician to get it installed. Installation and a new handset, if needed, are also provided by Spark free of charge.

 

After that it is business as usual – customers can continue to use their phone or access broadband as they always have. They can keep the same phone number, and will still enjoy all their landline perks, like free local calling to and from their landline, and toll calling. 

 

We have a dedicated team of Spark support people who can talk through any concerns and find solutions for those with more complex needs.

 

Why is the change needed?

 

The PSTN was built in the 1980s and is now end-of-life. It will not continue to work in the future.

 

When will the change happen?

 

The upgrade started in 2017 and the majority of Spark’s customers have already chosen to make the move. We have announced the next phase today, as we are giving notice that we will no longer be selling PSTN services in Devonport and Miramar from mid-August. We plan to stop providing services over the old PSTN to existing customers in Devonport and Miramar on 18 December 2020.

 

This means customers in Devonport and Miramar have plenty of time to prepare. In September, at least 90 days before the change, we will start direct communications to all customers with the information they need to make an informed choice about what service they would like to move to.

 

Spark Customer Director Grant McBeath said the upgrade is about ensuring Spark’s customers have access to modern technology that will keep them connected.

 

“When New Zealand went into Covid-19 lockdown it brought into sharp relief just how critical it is for everyone to have access to modern technology that is reliable and can keep them connected.

 

“The reality is that the old network of switches that currently underpins voice calling is end-of-life. Its components have not been manufactured for 17 years, and the people with the skills needed to maintain this technology are also getting harder to find.

 

“Our customers have been moving off this technology in droves, and we now need to start completing that process for all customers. When we started the upgrade in 2017, we had over a million customers on the PSTN – it is now around 400,000, with another 10,000 customers on average leaving every month.

 

“We do understand that for some customers a change like this can feel daunting, and we are committed to doing everything we can to make the process as easy as possible. We have a customer support team dedicated to this project, who can provide personal, one-on-one support wherever it is needed.

 

“Our customers can also take heart in the fact that the technology we are moving them to is tried and tested. It’s what the majority of kiwis use to make calls every day, and once they have made the switch their day-to-day experience won’t change – all we are doing is changing how their phone plugs into our network behind the scenes.”

 





 

 

These links are referral codes

 

Geekzone broadband switch | Eletricity comparison and switch | Hatch investment (NZ$ 10 bonus if NZ$100 deposited within 30 days) | Sharesies | Mighty Ape | Backblaze | Amazon | My technology disclosure 


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  #2523399 15-Jul-2020 11:00
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Had to happen. There comes a time........


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  #2523445 15-Jul-2020 11:37
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Do many folks have land lines these days. Businesses maybe but residential. I don't know what the metrics are but based on the my circle of contacts I would say not a lot. I have friends, family business contacts ranging from young to elderly and at a guess I would say 1-2% have land lines. One only has one for a legacy alarm system.





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He waka eke noa


 
 
 
 




BDFL - Memuneh
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  #2523463 15-Jul-2020 12:26
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Obviously anti-5G nutters already have a website up complaining about copper being retired...





 

 

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Geekzone broadband switch | Eletricity comparison and switch | Hatch investment (NZ$ 10 bonus if NZ$100 deposited within 30 days) | Sharesies | Mighty Ape | Backblaze | Amazon | My technology disclosure 


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  #2523465 15-Jul-2020 12:31
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Good old NEAX days are numbered now, switch by switch they are getting shut down..... good news for 61K connected customers who have not had any Caller ID or other smartphone services which should become standard with this move 

 

 


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  #2523466 15-Jul-2020 12:31
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freitasm:

 

Obviously anti-5G nutters already have a website up complaining about copper being retired...

 

 

They also have a stupid Facebook group!


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  #2523468 15-Jul-2020 12:34
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freitasm:

 

Obviously anti-5G nutters already have a website up complaining about copper being retired...

 

 

But 5G made my hair fall out, my shirt to fade and ruined my bread





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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

He waka eke noa


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  #2523475 15-Jul-2020 12:47
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freitasm:

Obviously anti-5G nutters already have a website up complaining about copper being retired...


Link please?




#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2523861 16-Jul-2020 00:48
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A simple reading of your local phone book (assuming you still get them) will give you an indication of people who have a landline.


From Chorus's site:


580,000
homes connected to fibre

1,150,000
homes are fibre ready
 
Not sure how many of that 580,000 have a land line. Can anyone from Chorus tell us or is that commercially sensitive info?




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?


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  #2523881 16-Jul-2020 07:01
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Damn I was hoping voice over wireless was them about to enable Wifi calling on mobiles ( there’s been a placeholder page accidentally published on their website for a few days at least)- I’m going to need to move to 2 degrees soon as it’s getting more and more frustrating not being to get calls at the in-laws who live in a dead spot.

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  #2523903 16-Jul-2020 08:26
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DarthKermit:

 

A simple reading of your local phone book (assuming you still get them) will give you an indication of people who have a landline.

 

 

 

From Chorus's site:

 


580,000
homes connected to fibre

1,150,000
homes are fibre ready
 
Not sure how many of that 580,000 have a land line. Can anyone from Chorus tell us or is that commercially sensitive info?

 

Chorus wouldn't know.

 

They would know how many have ONT based voice, but Spark are the only big player using this. Everybody else is using RGW based voice.

 

 


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  #2523906 16-Jul-2020 08:29
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It's very interesting to see that Spark have decided to abandon Baseband IP for these customers. A lot of customers are already using this solution, and in rural areas this will be how many continue to receive voice services. I guess this really is all about paying Chorus as little as possible.

 

 


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  #2523916 16-Jul-2020 08:46
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sbiddle:

 

It's very interesting to see that Spark have decided to abandon Baseband IP for these customers. A lot of customers are already using this solution, and in rural areas this will be how many continue to receive voice services. I guess this really is all about paying Chorus as little as possible.

 

 

Another few years, and the government will have to get all grumpy about competition again and split them up haha.


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  #2523917 16-Jul-2020 08:48
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DarthKermit:

 

A simple reading of your local phone book (assuming you still get them) will give you an indication of people who have a landline.

 

From Chorus's site:580,000
homes connected to fibre

1,150,000
homes are fibre ready
 
Not sure how many of that 580,000 have a land line. Can anyone from Chorus tell us or is that commercially sensitive info?

 

https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/212763/2019-Annual-Telecommunications-Monitoring-Report-Revised-version-12-March-2020.pdf

 

Page 9 shows Naked Vs Clothed Vs Voice Only

 

The figures in the Spark announcement above are more recent which show 400,000 lines still connected to a NEAX switch (admittedly with no breakdown of Clothed Vs Voice only) which will need to be migrated, people will still have a "copper land line" after this change just not connected to a NEAX switch but rather an ISAM-V card (which is emulated PSTN into VOIP at the exchange)

 

There is also a lot of UCLL lines by flip (Vocus Brand) which use their own equipment in the exchange to emulate the PSTN into SIP (and provide DSL)


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  #2523930 16-Jul-2020 08:50
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sbiddle:

 

It's very interesting to see that Spark have decided to abandon Baseband IP for these customers. A lot of customers are already using this solution, and in rural areas this will be how many continue to receive voice services. I guess this really is all about paying Chorus as little as possible.

 

 

The part that i didn't understand was that they said some Broadband services relied on the NEAX - if someone from Spark could enlighten me on that?


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  #2523941 16-Jul-2020 09:12
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nztim:

 

The part that i didn't understand was that they said some Broadband services relied on the NEAX - if someone from Spark could enlighten me on that?

 

 

 

 

To quote the press release:

 

 

Because some of Spark’s broadband over copper services are also delivered through systems associated with these old switches, Spark has also made the decision to withdraw all of its copper based broadband services in these areas.

 

 

I think you could safely translate that as 'they do not rely on the NEAX per se, but are heavily intertwined (in terms of systems) at some parts of the provisioning layer'.





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