"It's pretty nuts. It's ludicrous, really," says Vocus Group consumer GM Taryn Hamilton.
He's talking about the first Orcon 4000 broadband service, which has gone live in Queenstown this week - making the Orcon (part of the Vocus Group) the first retail internet service provider to offer a plan based on Chorus's new Hyperfibre product.
That is to say, we now have a new type of UFB fibre that's many, many times faster than an already stonkingly-fast service.
UFB network operator Chorus was already offering 1 gigabit per second plans.
Now, with its new Hyperfibre product, which will be progressively rolled out around the country over the year (see table below) - it's offering 2Gbit/s and 4Gibit/s speeds - or some of the fastest broadband in the world, full-stop.
It was already hard to see how any household could justify the 1 gig service, which was 10 to 30 times the speed of the first UFB fibre plans, even if every family member was mainlining 4K Netflix and multiplayer gaming at the same time.
Yet ISPs have reported surprising popularity - and indeed Hamilton says Orcon's 1 gig plan is now its most popular for new subscribers.
And the new 4Gbit/s (or 4000Mbit/s) Orcon 4000 plan has had two takers in its first two days. One install was at a flat, the other at a design company.
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Chorus warned that unlike its keenly-priced 1 gig plans, Hyperfibre wouldn't be cheap - but the first retail offering is not as expensive as some pundits might have expected.
The Orcon 4000 plan costs $199 a month - setting a mark that other retailers like Spark and Vodafone will likely stick close to.
And unlike the case when you, say, upgrade from a 100MB/s UFB fibre plan to a 1Gbit/s plan, a Chorus site visit is required, and the same will apply to all ISPs. That's because Hyperfibre requires a new ONT (the box that connects fibre from the street) and a new modem/router that supports Wi-Fi 6, the latest, fastest flavour of wi-fi.
That's because your existing home network hardware would choke on a Hyperfibre connection. The Chorus visit and new hardware mean that unlike other UFB plan upgrades, a Hyperfibre install costs $199.
So what's the appeal of a Hyperfibre plan like Orcon 4000?
Hamilton says in terms of home users, some geeks just want the best broadband going - a phenomenon that's born out by the popularity of one gig plans. "When we move into an 8K world, the new technology will come into its own," he says. 8K streaming and broadcast TV will require four times the bandwidth of the 4K offered by Netflix and a handful of others today, though is still a few years away from the mainstream.
More to the point, he noted that Hyperfibre is symmetric in telco-speak - which is to say it offers full-tilt speed in both directions: upload and download.
Most internet plans offer a much slower download speed. One gig plans, for example, top out at around 300Mbit/s or "only" a third of the bandwidth for uploads.
That counts if, for example, you're in the business of sending huge, high-def video files.
At a Hyperfibre preview for example, Chorus used the example of Auckland marketing agency Augusto, which often sends or receives 1 terabyte (1000 gigabyte) files.
With Hyperfibre, a file that used to take 12 hours to download could be sucked down in just 18 minutes.
Chorus was open about the fact that not many businesses play with 1TB files. And on the home front, the $199/month pricing will probably make even most power-geeks think twice.
So we're not going to see Hyperfibre go mass-market this year (nor the equivalent service from central North Island UFB provider Ultrafast Fibre, which is now being trialled).
But if you want some of the world's fastest broadband, it's on its way over the coming months.
Between 5G in mobile and fixed wireless, and Hyperfibre in fixed-lines, New Zealand is entering something of a golden age of broadband - and certainly one that leaves Australia and its dysfunctional National Broadband Network in the dirt.
Chorus' indicative Hyperfibre rollout timetable
• February 2020 – Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wakatipu, Wanaka & Cromwell
• March 2020 – Courtenay Place, Johnsonville, Miramar, Wellington
• April 2020 – Invercargill, Invercargill East, Invercargill South, Waikiwi
• May 2020 – Auckland, Avondale, Birkenhead, Mayoral Drive, Ponsonby
• June 2020 – Palmerston North
• September 2020 – The wider Chorus UFB1 fibre network
Vocus, via Orcon has been first out of the gate with a Hyperfibre-based plan.
A rep for Vodafone said, "We're excited about the possibility of offering Hyperfibre to Vodafone customers once it becomes widely available to the market. We are talking with Chorus about shaping products for the future, but it's very early days."
A Spark spokeswoman said, "We are currently assessing whether we will offer Hyperfibre to Spark customers (at this stage we don't) and will continue to monitor the market as we evaluate our options."