Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




28 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 3


# 175661 7-Jul-2015 17:06
Send private message

I just got the letter from Spark about the new plans and the whole 'ditch your copper landline' thing... I have a couple of problems with this though:
1. I have both Sky television and am living with a person that requires a medical alarm.
2. I'm on Spark's old 100/50 unlimited plan and I don't want to downgrade my upload speed. If anything, it's too slow!

Sky wont be that much of a problem since the phone line is only required of the pay television aspects of their service. I am also likely to cancel my subscription to them soon, too.
I called Spark (lol) and asked about the whole copper landline thing. They said I have to get 'integrated wiring' done to satisfy the medical alarm. It will cost $49 to do the wiring and there will be a $69 call-out fee. Understandable. But... I don't want to stay with Spark if they're only offering a 200/20 plan. I'd rather pay the $10 extra I am paying now and keep my 100/50 plan.

So... I had a look at the unlimited plans comparison here at Geekzone. I have a few requirements though:
1. I want to pay either the same amount or less for my internet and VoIP. I'm currently paying $139 a month. $5 more than this wouldn't bother me too much but $10 more is pushing it.
2. I want at least 200/50. Failing that (by the looks of things, I will), I may settle for guaranteed 100/50.
3. Must be able to achieve relatively constant speeds 24/7. Spark can do this, so I hope other ISP's can too.
4. The ISP must supply Palmerston North. I know some don't.
5. I want a static IP. I used to have one on my old ADSL and VDSL plans. This isn't the world to me, but it would make my life easier.
6. I just used ~2TB of data in 7 days. Some smaller ISP's might not like this. It isn't a regular thing, but I do use a fair amount of data.

The ISP's I liked the look of:
1. Bigpipe. They are a naked provider and I would have to arrange for a VoIP service as per their recommendation. I don't know how much a simple VoIP service would cost, but my guess is it would be more than $10 a month. Am I correct in this assumption? They offer a static IP like Telecom used to back in the day. I would love to switch to these guys right now, but the whole naked thing is a big put-off.
2. Lightwire. Their plans can include VoIP and their speeds are listed at 200/200. The big but here though is in the details of their fibre plans: 'actual speeds achieved will vary due to the 'shared' network design and many other factors.'. I have sent an email to Lightwire requesting an explanation to this 'shared' business. A few hours later and I am yet to receive a reply. I want to be able to achieve the 200/200 speeds 24/7 like I can achieve my current 100/50 24/7. They say that high 'usage patterns' will result in a discussion about 'options'. Oh, and it sounds like they only offer fibre to the Waikato region...

So Bigpipe and Lightwire. I could only find 2 out of the 13 listed on the Geekzone page that meet my somewhat strict requirements. Did I miss any?

The final question: what do you think I should do? Spark are saying that I have until November 1st to organise all this. That's quite a long time. Do you guys reckon the ISP's will increase their upload speeds any time soon and that I should wait? Or maybe that I should just bite the bullet and rid myself of Spark?

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
5668 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 264

Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1338690 7-Jul-2015 17:06
Send private message

Hello... Our robot found some keywords in your post, so here is an automated reply with some important things to note regarding broadband speeds.

 



 

If you are posting regarding DSL speeds please check that

 



 

- you have reset your modem and router

 


 

- your PC (or other PCs in your LAN) is not downloading large files when you are testing

 

- you are not being throttled by your ISP due to going over the monthly cap

 


 

- your tests are always done on an ethernet connection to the router - do not use wireless for testing

 


 

- you read this topic and follow the instructions there.

 



 

Make sure you provide information for other users to help you. If you have not already done it, please EDIT your post and add this now:

 



 

- Your ISP and plan

 


 

- Type of connection (ADSL, ADSL2, VDSL)

 


 

- Your modem DSL stats (do not worry about posting Speedtest, we need sync rate, attenuation and noise margin)

 


 

- Your general location (or street)

 


 

- If you are rural or urban

 


 

- If you know your connection is to an exchange, cabinet or conklin

 


 

- If your connection is to a ULL or wholesale service

 


 

- If you have done an isolation test as per the link above

 



 

Most of the problems with speed are likely to be related to internal wiring issues. Read this discussion to find out more about this. Your ISP is not intentionally slowing you down today (unless you are on a managed plan). Also if this is the school holidays it's likely you will notice slower than usual speed due to more users online.

 



 

A master splitter is required for VDSL2 and in most cases will improve speeds on DSL connections. Regular disconnections can be a monitored alarm or a set top box trying to connect. If there's an alarm connected to your line even if you don't have an alarm contract it may still try to connect so it's worth checking.

 



 

I recommend you read these two blog posts:

 



 

- Is your premises phone wiring impacting your broadband performance? (very technical)

 


 

- Are you receiving a substandard ULL ADSL2+ connection from your ISP?




I am the Geekzone Robot and I am here to help. I am from the Internet. I do not interact. Do not expect other replies from me.



3282 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 984

Trusted

  # 1338743 7-Jul-2015 17:15
One person supports this post
Send private message

Regarding your VOIP question, it's fairly easy to setup IMO (though you will need a modem that supports it or ATA) and will cost you something like $11.50 a month - I think that's what I'm paying for my 2talk line.

 
 
 
 




28 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  # 1338754 7-Jul-2015 17:41
Send private message

By the looks of things, I will be getting the 'integrated wiring' thing done. Apparently this means I can keep all my existing phones and use them as if nothing has changed.

If I use this 2talk provider, can I transfer my current home phone number? Will it work with the medical alarm?

Mr Snotty
8688 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4572

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1338792 7-Jul-2015 17:50
One person supports this post
Send private message

1. I want to pay either the same amount or less for my internet and VoIP. I'm currently paying $139 a month. $5 more than this wouldn't bother me too much but $10 more is pushing it.
2. I want at least 200/50. Failing that (by the looks of things, I will), I may settle for guaranteed 100/50.
3. Must be able to achieve relatively constant speeds 24/7. Spark can do this, so I hope other ISP's can too.


You're not going to get guaranteed speed on residential broadband. It is all delivered as "best effort".

6. I just used ~2TB of data in 7 days. Some smaller ISP's might not like this. It isn't a regular thing, but I do use a fair amount of data.


I use 4-6TiB per month on Snap's 200mbit plan, they also offer plans with a bundled copper landline instead of VoIP. I would highly consider them as I am able to hit my 200mbit almost 24/7 (again, it is not guaranteed but for best effort this is excellent).

You're going to be paying more per month - don't cut corners on UFB. Also BigPipe don't currently service Palmy.




1605 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 648


  # 1338801 7-Jul-2015 18:16
One person supports this post
Send private message

There's no way you're going to get guaranteed anything for $139 and the speeds will vary no matter which ISP you go with. If they put it in a prominent place on their website they're being upfront, and if they don't then you will also find similar wording in the terms and conditions.

You can port your phone number over to VoIP, but if the medical alarm is critical you might wish to think about retaining that copper landline.



28 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  # 1338822 7-Jul-2015 18:51
Send private message

michaelmurfy:
You're not going to get guaranteed speed on residential broadband. It is all delivered as "best effort".

Yes, over the years I have found 'best effort' to be good enough for me. I'm not looking for guaranteed 200/200, just 'relatively constant' 200/200 :)

I use 4-6TiB per month on Snap's 200mbit plan, they also offer plans with a bundled copper landline instead of VoIP. I would highly consider them as I am able to hit my 200mbit almost 24/7 (again, it is not guaranteed but for best effort this is excellent).
I don't know how much data I use a month, but I doubt it is ever that much! It's just that I lost ~2TB of data and it was easier to download it from my backup server in France than it would be to rip all the discs again.

I'm not too fussed about keeping copper. While I know it is ideal for my situation, St John has said they will provide us with a UPS and a new alarm if we need to make the switch. That and the Spark lady told me my bill could go up by as much as $50. I couldn't believe it. Maybe I misunderstood...

Can you tell me what speeds you achieve with this speedtest from your Snap connection? OVH supply my server which has backups of important photos and videos and runs an OpenVPN instance, so it's important for the speeds to be the same or better than what I am currently getting. I currently get around 45mbps down and 6mbps up. If I use a download client such as Aria2, I can almost saturate my download speed.

You're going to be paying more per month - don't cut corners on UFB. Also BigPipe don't currently service Palmy.
After going through my options, I understand that I am unlikely to find anything decent for a similar price. I think I might have to fork out the extra dough and hope that the price comes down within the next decade!

And thanks for informing me about Bigpipe... Being a branch of Spark, I assumed they would offer services everywhere Spark did.

DarkShadow:
There's no way you're going to get guaranteed anything for $139 and the speeds will vary no matter which ISP you go with.
Perhaps I worded that part wrong. I should have said '100/50 without any strings attached'. The 'strings' being traffic shaping and vague terminology like 'shared networks' when referencing network speeds.

You can port your phone number over to VoIP, but if the medical alarm is critical you might wish to think about retaining that copper landline.
I thought about this, and it is critical to the person who needs it. But, as I mentioned above, St John have said they can supply a UPS and a new VoIP ready alarm unit.

Mr Snotty
8688 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4572

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1338886 7-Jul-2015 20:22
One person supports this post
Send private message

Since you asked so nicely:

Download Speed: 61404 kbps (7675.5 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 5625 kbps (703.1 KB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 293 ms

I don't seem to get good speedtests from that server - if I use Aria2 I get around 190mbit from a server hosted in Germany at OVH but looking at my router we're currently doing around 30mbit down, 10mbit up anyway :)

If you've got a medical alarm I would strongly recommend keeping your copper line more-so because if there was to be an extended powercut the exchange can hold power indefinitely (versus a UPS that can for lets say 5hrs). There is also the Vigil Sentry Lite which I personally am going to get to power my router / ONT.

I can safely say I get between 180-220mbit (yes, Chorus overprovision a little) on my line at all times and have never had any problems. Snap are highly regarded around here and I always seem to go back to them after trying some alternatives. You pay a little more but just phone them and ask for a deal and they'll likely work something out for you.




 
 
 
 




28 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  # 1338911 7-Jul-2015 21:17
Send private message

Thanks for running that speedtest. Those results look good enough for my usage.

Thanks for the link. I will keep them in mind when/if I need to switch to VoIP. It's always good to support Kiwi business.

At this point I am looking to switch to Snap and keep the copper phone line. That is assuming there is no cost difference until November 1st. I will get in touch with St John again and discuss the matter further.
Anyways, tomorrow I shall collect my thoughts and make a new thread with the questions I have about Snap. For now I would like to thank you all for taking the time to answer my queries!

2715 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1232

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1338937 7-Jul-2015 22:07
One person supports this post
Send private message

I'm surprised that integrated wiring was mandatory for the alarm. If the ont and alarm sit next to each other then you can just plug it in directly to the ont. I know you can get a rj11 to bt jack. Then get a bt double adapter. Plug in the alarm and your dect walk around phone and you're done.
Unless you are uploading a lot of traffic locally then most people struggle to max out more than 20mb.
Otherwise snap seem to be the go.







28 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  # 1339193 8-Jul-2015 11:58
Send private message

I actually asked that exact question: 'can I plug the alarm directly into the ONT somehow?'. The Spark lady then repeated what she said about 'integrated wiring' being necessary for anyone with a medical alarm. I think having that done would be best anyway, but only when November 1st comes along with its price increase. Until then, I will look to keep the copper with Spark all the while searching possible Snap configuration issues and contacting St John to confirm this new alarm system.

Given the right location (outside of NZ), I can reach 30-40Mbps up. Granted that isn't stable and appears to be limited to 20Mbps at times... I have decided that I am happy to pay $30 more for even the slightest increase, even if it is only local.

2091 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 849


  # 1339200 8-Jul-2015 12:12
Send private message

BarTender: I'm surprised that integrated wiring was mandatory for the alarm. If the ont and alarm sit next to each other then you can just plug it in directly to the ont. I know you can get a rj11 to bt jack. Then get a bt double adapter. Plug in the alarm and your dect walk around phone and you're done.


Form what I understand it depends 100% on the type of alarm. I would be very careful telling people they can just plug their alarm in to the ONT. Ask your alarm company what they require.

If you go ahead with it then your alarm doesn't work you will be stuck until you sort an alternative.



14803 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2754

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1339217 8-Jul-2015 12:42
2 people support this post
Send private message

I got an ethernet module for my alarm, as well as a cellular module as backup. If it uses a standard phone line you just need your house wired like Spark said.

2091 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 849


  # 1339225 8-Jul-2015 13:11
Send private message

timmmay: If it uses a standard phone line you just need your house wired like Spark said.


Again, this is not always the case. It works for some, not all. Plenty of stories of people with it working fine - also plenty of people with it not working.

Check with your alarm supplier first.

27896 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 7383

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1339247 8-Jul-2015 14:13
Send private message

No ISP can guarantee you 200/200 24/7 for the price you want to pay.





28 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  # 1339256 8-Jul-2015 14:41
Send private message

wasabi2k:
timmmay: If it uses a standard phone line you just need your house wired like Spark said.


Again, this is not always the case. It works for some, not all. Plenty of stories of people with it working fine - also plenty of people with it not working.

Check with your alarm supplier first.
That is what I'm thinking. I'm going to call St John again to get confirmation about their new VoIP system. I'm also likely to go through with the 'integrated wiring' solution mentioned by Spark when the time comes. I believe it is better to let the professionals do their job than for me to mess around with any potential hackjob, especially in cases that involve human lives.

sbiddle: No ISP can guarantee you 200/200 24/7 for the price you want to pay.
I want relatively constant speeds, similar to what I achieve right now with Spark. I know no single ISP can guarantee internet access at any speed, business class or not, abroad or local. The way I worded that was wrong and I have corrected myself.

 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Switch your broadband provider now - compare prices


Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Xero announces new smarter tools, push into the North American market
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:20


New report by Unisys shows New Zealanders want action by social platform companies and police to monitor social media sites
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:09


ASB adds Google Pay option to contactless payments
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:05


New Zealand PC Market declines on the back of high channel inventory, IDC reports
Posted 18-Jun-2019 17:35


Air New Zealand uses drones to inspect aircraft
Posted 17-Jun-2019 15:39


TCL Electronics launches its first-ever 8K TV
Posted 17-Jun-2019 15:18


E-scooter share scheme launches in Wellington
Posted 17-Jun-2019 12:34


Anyone can broadcast with Kordia Pop Up TV
Posted 13-Jun-2019 10:51


Volvo and Uber present production vehicle ready for self-driving
Posted 13-Jun-2019 10:47


100,000 customers connected to fibre broadband network through Enable
Posted 13-Jun-2019 10:35


5G uptake even faster than expected
Posted 12-Jun-2019 10:01


Xbox showcases 60 anticipated games
Posted 10-Jun-2019 20:24


Trend Micro Turns Public Hotspots into Secure Networks with WiFi Protection for Mobile Devices
Posted 5-Jun-2019 13:24


Bold UK spinoff for beauty software company Flossie
Posted 2-Jun-2019 14:10


Amazon Introduces Echo Show 5
Posted 1-Jun-2019 15:32



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.