Flow-on effect of commission’s draft decision on Chorus charges starts to bite.

The country's three biggest internet companies are planning to charge customers more from next month and the general manager at one of them doesn't think broadband will ever be as cheap as it was before Christmas.

The price hikes follow a draft decision from the Commerce Commission in December lifting what lines company Chorus can charge internet retailers like Spark for wholesale services.

Vodafone began sending letters to customers last week about price rises of $4 a month across the majority of its landline and broadband plans.

The change will impact around 300,000 customers, the Auckland-based telco said, and comes into effect from February 1.


Vodafone's price hike will also make its cable and fibre-internet plans more expensive, despite no direct link between copper wholesale prices and the costs for those services.

Company spokesman Craig Jones said industry changes had affected all providers. "This, combined with an increase in costs to provide services generally, means Vodafone's prices will need to change to reflect these new conditions," he said.

The price increase will also apply to existing customers on fixed-term contracts with Vodafone, however these people will receive a $4 credit every month for the rest of their contract period.

The move follows Spark signalling price rises of between $2.50 and $4.25 a month across a number of its home-phone and copper-line broadband plans.

The change will impact around 250,000 phone and some 430,000 broadband customers.

While lifting prices for a large chunk of its customers, Spark is reducing what it charges for its "unlimited" broadband service by $10 a month.

The country's biggest internet and phone company said its new prices will come into effect for new and existing customers from the start of February.

Slingshot is also putting up the price of most of its copper-line broadband plans by $4 a month and its general manager Taryn Hamilton said the decision from the commission had come as a "bit of a surprise".


"I don't think broadband is ever going to be cheaper than it was before Christmas," Hamilton said.

While prices for new customers would be increasing, existing Slingshot customers could continue to pay what they do now if they signed a new fixed-term contract.

The December draft determination from the commission increased what Chorus can charge retailers for wholesale copper broadband services.

The price will not be finalised until September, but the commission last month indicated it may backdate the decision to December 1, 2014.

Phone and internet price rises
Spark: $2.50-$4.25/month
Will impact around 680,000 customers.

Vodafone: $4/month
Will impact around 300,000 customers.