Telecom calls for national consistency from fibre companies

At current trends, consumers will be offered fibre services at different speeds and different prices, which is likely to cause confusion and delay the move to fibre, according to Telecom.

Telecom is calling for more national consistency on the products offered by the fibre companies to avoid what it calls a “fibre tangle”.

“We applaud the local fibre companies (LFCs) for their innovation and increasing the fibre speeds we can offer to customers. However, it’s getting to the stage where there are too many different inputs across different parts of the country, which makes marketing nationally consistent fibre services to our customers more difficult,” said Telecom’s GM for product and service delivery, Lindsay Cowley.

“On current trends, we run the risk that our fibre services will be available at different speeds, and different prices, depending on where you live in the country. The more complex it becomes, the greater the risk that customers will put the transition to fibre in the ‘too hard’ basket and stick to their old copper broadband – which would be a bad outcome for our customers and for New Zealand overall. We need to make sure the transition to fibre is as straightforward and uncomplicated as possible.”

According to Telecom, Chorus and Enable offer a residential 100 Megabit per second download and100 Megabit per second upload input (although there is a price difference in input price), yet it is not available from Ultrafast Fibre (UFF) and Northpower. A 50/20 input is available in all areas, except ones covered by Chorus. UFF offers a 1000/20 input, but it is not available to the 85 percent of New Zealanders who can get UFB but are not in the UFF area. Chorus will offer a 1000/500 input to the winner of the Gigatown competition, but it will not be available anywhere else.

Telecom states that it has written to all four fibre companies outlining its preferred range of inputs ranging from the 30 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload (the current standard entry-level UFB input) to 1 Gbps download, 500 Mbps upload that should be available nationally.

The company made the call today as as its Ultra Fibre products became available in the Taupo area.

“A top download speed of 1000 Megabits, or 1 Gigabit, per second - the maximum technically possible under the UFB network’s current configuration - is now on the table as UFF has announced it will launch the product throughout their coverage area of approximately 162,000 addresses in the central North Island.

“With consumers increasingly embracing the benefits of fibre and thirsting for more data at higher speeds, we think the time is right to have a consistent 1 Gigabit per second offering across all fibre companies and the entire UFB network,” Cowley added.