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15223 posts

Uber Geek


# 126996 26-Jul-2013 10:33
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I'm considering switching to UFB, mostly because I want a reliable connection that works during power cuts and disasters - or at least is battery backed up for a while. Couple questions:
 - Is UFB battery backed up, ie designed to work during a power cut or when mains power is off to an area?
 - What ISPs do people recommend for UFB?
 - Can I put the equipment in my ceiling cavity? It gets a bit warm up there during the summer, but I could install some vents.

I'm in Johnsonville, Wellington, with an older house. Power, phone, and TelstraClear cable are all overhead connections, so I expect this one will be too. They can cut off all phone lines as they're unused, but not the TelstraClear cable which I'd only get rid of once UFB is working properly.

UFB plans after a quick investigation:
Snap: $75/month for 100GB and a phone line of some kind. Installation charges vary, modem included if you go for a 2 year contract.
Orcon: $89/month for 60GB, includes phone line and national calling. Includes Orcon genius modem/WiFi router. Installation charges may vary. 12 month fixed term.
Telecom: $95 for 80GB, includes modem and installation. I've not used them in years, but their performance and service was ok when I used them about a decade ago.
Vodafone: not advertised yet, shame as I'm happy enough with them/TelstraClear in general, so long as I don't have to talk to them. If they offered UFB I'd probably stick with them (hint to Vodafone/TC staff to invite me to a trial).

Reliable service is most important to me, and decent support when I need it. I don't want a tiny ISP - an ISP with decent backhaul to service the connection and resources to solve problems. Vodafone/TC have been great for backhaul, and their service while not great has been good enough. I'd rather not sign up for more than a year, just in case the performance or service is terrible.

Looking at TrueNet tests, Snap seems to have much faster web page download times than Telecom, with Orcon midway. Snap and Orcon have good web page ratings, that have improved a lot recently, Telecom have ok speeds but getting worse. Snap and Orcon both beat Telecom for latency.

Thoughts or experience all very welcome :)

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2541 posts

Uber Geek

  # 866437 26-Jul-2013 10:58
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How soon do you need this? If you're happy with VF/TC, I'm sure they'll have their UFB plans announced in the near future, stick with them. Otherwise, personally I'd go Telecom, but it depends on specific needs. You seem to have listed the base plans from a few ISPs, so presumably speed and data caps aren't really important to you?

Snap have a good rep, I've not use them personally but a number of my customers do, and are happy with speeds.

2044 posts

Uber Geek


  # 866443 26-Jul-2013 11:03
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Can't help make up your mind re ISP choice but I am happy with Orcon 30/10 30GB.

Battery backup is not included. You will need both the ONT and Modem/Router on a UPS to keep the service going in a blackout.

As for ceiling cavity installation, I would be chary because of heat, cold, dust etc. Don't know how Chorus feel about it.

Anyway, good luck with your decision.


304 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 866445 26-Jul-2013 11:05
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I've been with Snap's UFB since April.

Speed is rock solid, consistent. Excellent pings (for online games: typically 5ms for NZ, ~30-40ms for Aus, ~170ms for US West Coast). Customer service has always been friendly when I've rung up. The Fritzbox is a nice device.

Extra data is also very reasonably priced:

And unlimited YouTube for $5:

Orcon: You're paying more for less data.

Telecom: You're paying more for less data, and you don't even get a VoIP phoneline.

Chorus doesn't supply battery backups, so you're out of luck there, less you want your own UPS I imagine!

140 posts

Master Geek

  # 866448 26-Jul-2013 11:11
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I won't recommend a company because I have no knowledge of the ISP service in Wellington.  However, I do caution against having your ONT installed in your ceiling because if there are any problems with your UFB, you are going to have to climb up there to report to the ISP what LED's are on/on/flashing, and also to
reboot it, if required.

Better to have your ONT easily accessible, and visible. A UPS is essential if you take the VOIP phone service
because if the mains power fails, so too will your VOIP phone service. A UPS is more necessary for that purpose, rather than maintaining your internet connection, unless you have another USP to power your computer
as well.

28263 posts

Uber Geek

Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  # 866449 26-Jul-2013 11:13
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Why would you want to put any equipment in the ceiling?

371 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 866452 26-Jul-2013 11:15
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I support snap, I don't have ufb but I do have vdsl on snap and I'm very happy with their customer service and their call centre.

1945 posts

Uber Geek


  # 866459 26-Jul-2013 11:22
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sbiddle: Why would you want to put any equipment in the ceiling?

Because ONT's are ugly and look unsightly stuck on a wall :-)



Antonios K


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15223 posts

Uber Geek


  # 866524 26-Jul-2013 12:25
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Thanks for all the feedback.

Putting equipment in the ceiling is because it's an old house with a massive ceiling area, just huge, but obvious space in the house to put in networking equipment. Right now it's behind the sofa in my office, but I'd rather have it somewhere else. When I rebuilt a room recently I put ducts and power where I will eventually put this stuff in a wardrobe high up in the house, but the wardrobe won't be built for a year or two. I could run the cables from the ceiling outlet down to the floor, but that would be pretty ugly in our guest room. I could mount things elsewhere then move it later I guess, but there's nowhere that I would be willing to wall mount it.

My ceiling space is easily accessible, with stairs and a floor up there. It may get up to 40 degrees there in the summer, but I could mitigate that with vents and even a duct with fresh air connected to a thermostat or something. Basically build a fresh air cooled server cupboard up there.

I'd power the devices with a UPS. We don't have a phone line, so having it protected by a UPS isn't important. Having a home internet connection during a power outage is more important to me, with that I can do Skype from a smart phone, email, etc. Of course 3G/4G data, but who knows how that would work in a disaster.

Inphinity: I don't need 100/50, I don't know what I'd need that speed for. 50/10 is more than enough, even FTPing 10GB of data around four times a month in summer - photos to my editor. Waiting for Vodafone is a valid option.

Thanks for the feedback on Snap and Orcon so far :)

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