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Your Views: Telecom price rises and broadband

By Your Views

Telecom is in the news over its broadband and for increasing rentals.
Opening Telecom's network to competitors will result in faster internet and more competition from the middle of this year, but standalone broadband prices are unlikely to drop.

And Telecom stands to earn at least an extra $24 million to $44 million a year from an increase in its monthly line rental charges. The company announced yesterday it would increase its charges by between $1 and $1.85 from March. The cost of calling the 018 directory service from a mobile phone will also increase - from 50c to 75c, but calls from a land line to the directory will remain the same at 50c.

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A selection of your views appear below:

Colin Yates
Its a pity Telecom cannot match their service to the so called reasons for rental increases. I am not sure if this is correct but I remember seeing a Telecom Advertisement which was committed to full coverage for mobile phones by the end of 2005 or 2006 throughout New Zealand.

The coverage as it is now is a joke especially when I can go 6 to 8Km out of a city on the East Coast, North Island and do not have coverage.

Paul Brack
I feel New Zealanders grossly overestimate the internet capabilities of the rest of the world. We are constantly told how things are so much better everywhere else, and yet so few take up any incentive in fixing the underlying issues here. In the UK,I paid a similar cost to New Zealand for a 2MBps line for a similar amount of data. Bear in mind that the UK had a publicly owned Telco (BT) that became privately owned at about the same time as Telecom, has similarly antiquated phone lines and have a population density 15 times higher than NZ. Personal experience showed me NZ is about 18 months behind the UK maximum. The funding lacking in the industry and the low take-up by consumers simply shows New Zealanders claim much more investment in hardware is needed but are unwilling to pay for it. If you want a premium service, you have to pay a premium for it.

Reuben Naidoo
I would leave Telecom and go to anyone that offers me a good rate for their services, as I am not happy with what I am getting from Telecom at the moment.

Alastair Ritchie
In my situation, Telecom’s broadband product choices have not changed at all. I require a reasonable upload speed for my home business where I regularly send photographic work to my offshore clients. Since the unlimited options were available my only option was the PRO plan for $79.95+GST per month. The cheaper GO Express plan only had a tiny 2GB traffic limit per month. I have also been conducting regular line speed tests and have found my average speed to be about 25 - 30 per cent slower than the old plan.
So if I had stayed with Telecom I would not only be paying for more bandwidth than I need but the service is also slower. I am lucky my IT guy pointed me to another ISP that offers the same speeds but I only pay for the bandwidth I actually use. This is saving me about $35 per month (inc GST) on my average traffic usage of about 5gb per month. Hoorah for competition!

Luke Mason
It is time the Telecom bully boys got a taste of their own medicine. Too long the public have had to endure their obtuse customer service, their cynical attempt at public relations and a fascist monopoly on our phone lines! When will it stop? They have made it clear that they don’t care about the public perception. They are going to dictate, take advantage and purge off working people until something is done. I ca not when the government forces them to give up the monopoly, but until then it will only get worse!

Raj Subramanian
Telecom symbolises monopoly. It will continue to be a monopoly for some time as our country did not embrace new technologies and did not lease required low earth orbitting communication satellites. Few competitors in Vodafone(cells) Woosh(radiowave) are unable to role out ultra modern technologies because the rift over local loop termination and broadband minutes. United States has competition among different networks 1.traditional copper wire 2.Communicaion satellites combined with wireless technology 3.Cells 4. Cable TV. network.
VOiP is replacing traditional telephone. It is cheapest for all type of calls. Its delivery in New Zealand is delayed by our reliance on copper wires. The Government should have diverted its surpluses in budget to infrastructure development in alternate network provision. At least they can provide tax holidays to providers of telecommunication in alternate networks so that companies like Vodafone and Woosh would start a true competition.

Wayne Bradshaw
Well they can do what they want. After threatening to for a couple of years I have gone with another provider. Telcom are a money making machine and they do so at the expense of ordinary Kiwis. I am sure that many more Kiwis will change their provider real soon.

Linda Pile
Telecom and their line rental what a joke. Telecom are holding the whole country to ransom. I have my toll calls with another provider and last night Telecom phoned me (never hear from them normally only when they want something) They said if I didnt change my toll calls back to them my other services with them were going to go up. Isnt that blackmail? Dont they make enough profit, Obviously they are panicking because they cant cope with competition, To bad Telecom, its about time you got what you deserve.

There is no justification for paying twice for the line, once for broadband and once for line rental. There is only one line. For broadband users line rental should have disappeared no being increased now.

Karl Bray
Average NZers have no idea how much better things could be than they are now; had we not been robbed blind for the last ten years of decent network infrastructure and fibre to the home by a company whose (largely overseas) shareholders do not care. The recently improved state of broadband is a plate of crumbs compared to the rest of the western world. Ask Alcatel, Telecoms network managers about the state of their network. The prediction for the next 5 to10 years? Bleak.
As a Kiwi living in the Netherlands, I have enjoyed high speed all you can eat broadband for several years already, at reasonable cost. It is embarrassing that NZ has lagged so far behind in the provision of this kind of service, especially considering that initially NZ was leading the way in dialup with cheaper rates and unlimited data at a time when here in the Netherlands they were still paying per minute fees. Now the tables have turned completely, and its not just an issue for private consumers but also businesses, so much international business now requires reasonably well priced, fast, and reliable broadband, its a serious problem for smaller NZ companies wanting to compete internationally.

I look forward to real broadband, where I am not constrained by exchange congestion and backhaul limitations. I am less concerned with the cost of broadband than I am with the phone rental. Give me the option of cheap rental and paying for local calls, that will reduce my call costs. Bring on competition and VoIP (voice over IP).

Read the comments Telecom. The public desire something you are not offering. Over the last 12 months speeds have gone up. So have prices for data. I am better off staying at 2mbps with 4GB than I would be 7.6mbps at 5GB for an extra $10 a month. All it means is that because it’s faster, I hit the limits sooner. And then it’s straight back to 64kbps for the rest of the month. Not even enough to listen to the internet radio stations I like.

George Merriman
As local loop unbundling becomes a reality, I would like to see joint initiatives by government and ISPs to improve the present appalling level of provision of broadband to rural areas. City dwellers are able to access high speed internet and 3G cellphone services, while most country dwellers are lucky to be able to even get a reliable slow dial-up connection. Here is an opportunity for Mr Cunliffe to achieve Hero of the Nation status, and the Labour government to assure itself of country-dwellers votes!

Dot Burges
I think that really sucks, because Telecom knows they have got the monopoly on line rentals over 90 per cent of the country, and most people can’t afford or can’t get completely wireless internet. They are taking advantage of those who can often least afford the increase. What’s happened to the Kiwi share and fairness to the people of New Zealand?

Dave Smith
According to Telecoms support desk, once the new plans went live the people closest to the exchange had their speeds dramatically increased. What this meant for the rest of us is that the interference on the lines increased, leading to slower speeds. We pay for 7.5mbs, and are lucky to get over 1. Telecom is losing my household as a customer, due to their ineptitude and eagerness to exploit their virtual monopoly.

Marc McAllister
Wow, faster is rubbish, on paper its faster, as a computer technician I have started to receive more calls in regards of broadband than any other issue since the Telecom increase in usage and plan changes late last year. The service is now at its best no better than before the so called opening of broadband, at its worst no better than dial-up. Something needs to be addressed. Current users that have a problem are then faced with having to contact Telecoms help desk which is oxymoron as they offer no help just Telecom excuses. I would recommend anyone thinking of changing do so and let Telecom know the reason why.

Jeremy B
We all know and have pride in the fact that New Zealanders are innovative, but how fast are we to implement new technologies? Broadband is critical for the growth and development of this country. The plans for investment sound fantastic and promising, but its redundancy that must be considered also. Not long ago, much of Wellington CBD was disconnected from the nz internet network due to a fibre cut. Seems a little easy to knock off thousands of business and home users! Investment in new technology and redundancy are both equally important. Lets see change now, and lets see New Zealanders take a real stand for what we believe is critical for the continuing development of New Zealand.

Ian David Hanley
As a Kiwi in California I noticed that you can get good deals for broadband, but you have to unpack the deal being offered very carefully. New Zealand has the advantage of consumer protection, which seems very light in the USA. Typically you will find an excellent lead offer, but closer inspection reveals the cost is for ten months and then the price goes up. Bundled deals seem best, home phone, mobile phone and television. That I think will be the point of difference between companies. There is no reason why these services cannot come from outside the country, simply look at the news services. Telecom will not be able to hold off competition forever.

Ankur Gupta
It is unfortunate that our government is prepared to sit back and let Telecom screw consumers for every one of our last pennies. Isnt it bad enough that we get absolutely rubbish service, customer service from operators with the personality of a brick and stifling costs that now we have to put up with this rubbish too? Ever since the so called Faster, cheaper broadband has been introduced, my line speeds have dropped from 7.8Megabits per second to 2.6Megabits. As fast as your line will go? My foot!

Greg McCutchan
Won’t make much difference, just more of a choice of who to get shafted by. Currently Im an Ihug customer. Im very disappointed with their attitude, basically a mini Telecom in the making, blame everyone else but themselves and expect their customers to still pay full price.

I agree with most of the comments. Like some of the people who have commented already, I don’t know why I should have to pay the same as everyone else, for line rental. When I don’t even have a phone, on the phone line! I have not had a phone for the past 9-10 years. (Even tho we’ve got 2 separate lines). But, thats not the point. The modem is connected directly to the phonejack. I am still on dialup, because BB is a waste of money / too expensive / not worth getting. The Govt need to move into the 21st century !!!

Mark Steele
I have just moved here from Australia and in comparison the market here for ADSL is like going back to the stone ages. Where’s ADSL2+, user friendly shaped plans, genuine unrestricted downloading ie no traffic management and plans with reasonable GB/Month? The Government seemed a bit slow to act and now and ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) have a bit of work to do to catchup but at least they now have a fighting chance with the opening up of Telecoms infrastructure.

Neil Dixon
I am always amazed by the amount to Telecom bashing that occurs whenever any sort of change happens. Broadband prices are being ranted about when this is a news story on the telephone monthly charge! Petrol companies, electricity companies and gas companies all change exorbitant prices for their products, yet Telecom is the only one we hear about.I do not agree with all the prices Telecom charge, and I do not agree with some of their Broadband policies, but in comparison to electricity, gas and petrol the amount I pay to Telecom per month is very low.

Graeme Coley
Broadband I should be so lucky! I live less than 25km from the sky tower,on the old #1 state highway , surrounded by other housing and there isnt a fat chance of getting broadband.Telecom will only do the upgrade if I get 40 others to commit to there monopoly service. It means I can do little work at home and my kids cant do proper internet based homework.this country is being ripped off after 15yrs of underinvestment!

Al Twohill
I think that Telecom is making a last-ditch effort to make money while people don’t have a choice on their line providers. If anything, this move is going to encourage people to move away from Telecom when the local loop unbundling comes into effect.

Carolyn Dent
I had to change to the Anytime plan as Telecom were phasing out the plan I was on. The charges went up as a result. Now they are going to put the rental up again!I will dump then as soon as I can. I only got a land line about 3 years ago so my daughter could phone me from out of town. I have had a mobile with Vodofone for over 8 years now and will probably go with them for my landline.

Russ McGehan
I agree entirely with all the views of others so far. There has not been one favourable comment to this question so far. We need better service and lower cost through more competitive market. Telecom needs competition urgently.

Telecom have been screwing the NZ public for years this is another example of them ripping off consumers.But then again they need the money before they can finally get rid of that waste of space Teresa Gautting .Im sure she wont leave empty handed and will get a nice big fat golden handshake funded in part by the latest price increase.
Shame on Telecom again.

Grant Buist
The speed and cost of NZ broadband is pathetic and outrageous, respectively. Most commercial NZ websites are geared for broadband, even though most Kiwis aren’t. Surfing with a 56kps connection involves long periods of Zen limbo waiting for massive 2Mb animated ads to load. What’s wrong with this picture?

Sarah Scoullar
A couple of weeks ago, for absolutely no reason, Telecom disconnected my phone line and reconnected it in the flat next door. I don’t see how they can justify charging us more for such terrible service.

Raj Kumar
This will keep happening till there is no competition. Iswitched from Telecom to Woosh as Telecom never misses an opportunity to rip off, like moving your residence and you pay $40 reconnection even when new residence has connection , its just needs activation. Regarding free calls its unfair to say that its free (in that case are we paying $43 to keep a line?) when Cell phone can be kept running on $20 per year and you pay for call costs. Allow competition in landlines freely and even if costs go up its consoling to see that its actually a cost increase.(petrol companies are good example where not every move to increase price is followed by competition and they scale back).

Jack Neill
I do not like defending Telecom, but why arent journalists crusading about the increase in line charges mentioning free local phone calls? Most phone companies round the world charge for local phone calls. Telecom line charges include free local calls for residential users. Also, the line charges, and the rate of increase linked to the inflation rate as measured by the CPI were set by the Government when it sold Telecom. Is our left-wing, foreign-owned media helping Comrade Cunliffe to soften up the public ahead of the state breaking this agreement -- again robbing current Telecom shareholders, as Cunliffe did with his unbundling edict

I have been appalled by XTRAs service. It is consistently slow despite me being on a high end plan. After the speed cap removal it has slowed significantly despite there are 5 messages in the mail stating how lightning fast it would be. New Zealand broadband is a constant disappointment. I am now facing buying a new modem, because the one XTRA gives you for free causes me so many headaches.

I think most average wage earners will be very enthusiastic about paying more money for their phone line, knowing that all profits will go to upkeep and improve our world class telecommunications infrastructure and perhaps a pay rise for all the struggling Telecom executives?

Fouad Shiblaq
The reasons for the slow take off of broadband in New Zealand is simply due to the following resons: Domination of prominent company of the network; cost of broadband is still very high compared with the cost of having broadband in other OECD countries; dialups prices for home users are still far lower than the cost of broadband. You can download large files/applications from a public internet Access then save on an MP3/CD for example and install it on your PC @ home.The promenent Telco company still resilient against the use of VOIP, which became a reality, instead they should promote broadband features and innovations such as VOIP, video conferencing, and speed.I personally still think that if the new Governments Telecommunications Amemdment Act did not solve the cost issue we’wil still see a slow uptake of the broadband in New Zealand.

Sam Bearda
Until landline broadband is available from all of Telecoms exchanges, the issue of broadband access is irrelevant to all of us who live in areas not connectable to broadband.

Jarrid Willcocks
Telecoms broadband speed is comparable to third world technology. However its hardly surprising when you look at their network, held together with number 8 fencing wire and sticky tape. The lack of infrastructure investment by the likes of Relecom over the years to ensure high profits is laughable but not just telcos have taken this path. Lets look at the other power & water utilities, Transit and New Zealand Rail who have all taken the same stance.

Angela Paul
Typical of the type of extortion we have come to expect from Telecom. Legal right’ or not, their profit are already enormous. We are being fleeced to fill the pockets of offshore shareholders. Roll on competition, and teach these sharks a lesson.

Coming from Sweden 3 years ago NZ is a joke when it comes to internet. It will be very nice the day NZ gets broadband, real broadband. Now people seem to think that just because it’s not dialup, its broadband. Broadband today is 8-24 Mb if you ask me. I would say NZ is the least developed internet country in the western world, and a lot of the Asian countries are also way ahead of NZ. It is time for Helen Clark to do something, now! What is taking her so long.?

Lesley Nelson
So Telecom have low toll calling rates. Whoopee! Why cant they understand that a lot of phone users struggle to pay the monthly rental and dont make toll calls because they can’t afford to. It is high time that Telecom lowered the monthly rental fee making it more affordable for people to then take advantage of the so called low toll calling rates, after all they can afford to, look at the gigantic profit they make every year.

Isaac Higgs
Broadband in NZ is rubbish, advertised speeds do not come close to being a reality. I should be getting 7.5mb/sec the best speed I can get is 3.5mb/sec the restrictions on uploads is stupid, the caps are two small for someone who enjoys downloading music and the occasional movie. This is if your connection doesn’t get bumped off.

William Miller
I am a Yankee that corresponds regularly with Kiwis. I have a broadband connection (cable) that averages 6.5 Mbs on download and am appalled at the slow broadband rates that I encounter connecting to Kiwi servers. Then the people I speak to tell me that after they use a GB of service, their broadband slows to dial-up. That is ridiculous. The speed change thing would never fly here. I pay around $45.00 US for a month at a constant speed and if you have the technology and server space, it would do you well to adapt a similar way of doing it. I and the Kiwis I speak with feel that the speed should n t change due to byte usage as it grossly effects VoIP and visual. Why not try to adapt to a different way of doing it?

Roy Hartanto
New Era Broadband.Faster, Cheaper Broadband. Yeah Right! When I first signed up with Orcon they were providing unlimited data (256kb down, 128kb up) for $49.95/month, that was approx 24months ago. Then 12 months ago they put their price up to $59.95/month for 40GB of data still 256kb download and 128kb upload. Now with the so called unbundled, cheaper faster broadband to go even close to the 40GB plan they were offering, I have to pay $70/month and thats with lesser data per month. Not too mention Xtra/Telecom unable to provide the promised speed with their Go Large Plan, .the whole thing is just a joke!!
The whole unbundling news 6months ago is all just a hype, broadband has not improved in NZ, but has gone more expensive!!!

Vane Trajkov
It is all very nice that Ihug and the likes plan on installing ADSL2 equipment, but how is that going to help those of us who are too far from the exchange and the relevant street cabinets are so ancient that even a 56K dial up connection is a bit of a stretch? I live in West Harbour in Auckland and after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get broadband, Telecom suggested that I should try a satellite connection. This luxury would cost me $1500 to setup, and then $100/month for a 1GB data allowance at 256k/s. Hardly an alternative someone could afford!

Ryan Ryu
Make the new system happen fast! I am sick of using Telecom’s useless speedless and expensive broadband!

Darrin Hurd
Telecom is the master of making something sound grand, when it doesnt actually do anything. I refer to their advertising campaign, unleashed speed, cheaper broadband. Since this my speed has dropped to around Dial up speed, in fact I had a letter from telecom saying I should consider going to a Dial Up modem. (This is from a user who has been using Broadband in New Zealand since its inception without issue) Cheaper Broadband? So they offer a new plan thats cheaper but less data rates, which is obviously not what they were inferring with the phrase cheaper broadband, as current users do not get anything cheaper. (This borders on false advertising) Come on Telecom give us a fair deal, you just have to look as far as Australia to know we are getting ripped off, in terms of both speed and pricing.

Dave Smith
The news of yet another increase in telephone line charges simply highlights the stupidity of successive governments giving away state assett monopolies for a song .The result of which is a new greedy business giant let loose on the market able to charge whatever it likes. The excuse used for lack of improvement of services is small market" when in fact it is consolidation of profit . In reality why should they improve when they can milk the public and gut the entire structure for all its worth. Until line charges are abolished and the entire industry is made to incorporate a true user pay model of supply including maintenance for services on a usage basis , we are forced to prop up this arrogant model of a business. Minimum line charges in both telephony and electricity distort the true cost of supply. The high users cause a greater drain on the infrastructure but are rewarded by special rates. Small users are actually the main customer base and place much less strain on the network - they are punished.

Carolyn Johnson
I live at Bundoran way, Pinehill, Browns bay, Auckland and have done since 1999, supposedly a city in the 21st century. After Telecom did a line test 5/12/06, they said yes we can have broadband but at the moment there are no connections available. They will need to do cable and cabinet upgrades and need resource consent, which will take 6+ months. Please contact us after this time when we will be able to tell you your options. I could understand it in the country but in a urban area????

Brad Mason
Nothings changed. Same old slow broadband. Now Telecom blames the street wiring or the house wiring or anything else. Perhaps if they had invested more into the infrastructure of existing phone lines and replaced the old copper cable, they would have something to brag about.

Blake Skelton
I have been very disappointed ever since Telecom unleashed their internet speeds, or whatever ever that so called rubbish was. I am used to download at speeds approximately ten times faster than I now do, even though it is supposed to be faster. It is a joke that Telecom is allowed to get away with this, I am now paying around the same price for far slower internet access.

Peter Manderson
I do not know how Telecom gets away with it. I have complained on numerous occasions about lack of speed which is often no better than dial up. The last guy I spoke to admitted they had a big problem with the latest unlimited access plan and suggested I change to a lesser plan [ same price] but speed should be faster. I think that has now kicked and speed a little better but only a fraction of speed expected.
I have never seen a more blatant example of over promising and under delivering.

Shend Haraqia
I feel that the broadband offerings in the New Zealand market are shocking. Considering that this is an isolated country, where problems and issues can be easily isolated and learned from, there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be world leaders in technology, especially new technologies used to improve the way of life. If broadband was to be offered in relatively affordable prices, and with the best possible connection packages, then the isolation of this country would be diminished to a great degree as there would not be such an enormous need of relying on physical connections. Having had travelled to other countries around the world, it is embarrassing telling others of the new releases on broadband in NZ as the rest of the world is miles ahead. The unbundling should take effect much sooner than predicted and further pressure needs to be applied on Telecom, so that its monopoly on the NZ telecommunications market can be dismantled once and for all.

Uncle Sam
The speed is low and the price high . Island life as usual ripped off at every turn. Oh the connection freezes up at least twice a day and the access to international (beyond Australia) connections are pathetically slow.

Janmarie Fitzgerald
Will other broadband providers end up like Xtra and start off with a big bang? Our connection rate for Xtra faster speed dropped from 7260, down to 4480 and on some days has not even made the 2000 mark, even with all phone jacks having filters over the last 3 weeks!!

Lance C Beste
Hurry up Vodafone. I have been waiting a long time for a competitor to Telecom and I will change service on principle. Telecom has taken advantage of their monopoly for far too long.

Katrina Allen
As a Telecom customer, I am at wits end with them. We barely use our landline, we hardly use our cell phone and yet our monthly phone bill has always exceeded the $150 mark. They put us on a contract telling us it would work out cheaper for us and now we are getting another rise in price..?? Another Telecom customer awaits the competition to begin.

Madeleine Ware
It is high time Telecom introduced some alternative plans for people who are only forced to pay for a home line so they can have broadband internet. The cost is already ridiculous for people who make very few phone calls of any kind.

Suzanne Kelly
This stinks. Roll on competition. As soon as Vodafone deliver their local service equivalent, I will be the first to sign up although hundreds of thousands of other NZers are probably thinking the same thing.

Ian Mills
Absolutely disgusting. Get rid of the dead heads in Telecom, pay realistic wages to top management (ie thousands not millions.) Hurry up and unbundle the loop and I will be changing landline providers.

I can not wait for the day I can switch my home phone line to someone other than Telecom (e.g. my mobile or ISP provider). I hardly ever make any local calls from my landline so the $45 a month I get lumbered with is rubbish . I pay less for broadband and use it a lot more! (and what is with using three pages to send one bill? Surely they could fit it all on one sheet?) Come on Telecom, stop being a dog in the manger. You skite about your mobile and broadband solutions, obviously wanting rid of your landlines, yet you block any attempt at competition and hike your charges to boot.

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