Bigpipe will join the gigabit cool kids when faster wholesale services go online next month.
Spark’s no-frills broadband ISP says it will offer an unlimited, naked, gigabit plan for $129 a month.
Bigpipe says those customers already on the company’s Elite plan, will be upgraded to Gigabit speed free of charge. At present Big Pipe’s Elite plan customers get 200 Mbps up and down. This will move to 1 Gbps down and 500 Mbps up.
The ISP says it has already started upgrading customers in the Enable and Ultrafast Fibre areas. The Chorus customers will get their upgrades next month when the Chorus gigabit fibre service begins operating.
There’s no word when Spark, Bigpipe’s parent company, will offer gigabit plans. Officially it is coming “over the next few months”. We do know the price will be $140 a month.Interested customers are invited to pre-register for the service at Spark’s website.
From a consumer point of view, 1 Gbps is, in effect, the highest possible speed for now. You choose it because when 1 Gbps is coupled with an unlimited plan there are no constraints on your internet experience.
There’s been some talk along the lines of no-one needs a gigabit connection. While there is something in this, having plenty of headroom means there is alway enough bandwidth on hand for the few moments when you need it.
Required speeds might be well under 1 Gbps most of the time, but streaming video and other demanding apps can cause temporary demand spikes.
- The extra $11 pays for phone support. Bigpipe doesn’t have a call centre. Customers get help via the net. Given that a lot of tech savvy customers never, or almost never, need handholding, unbundling support this way makes sense. Spark customers also get: modem, Lightbox, Xtra email, McAfee security, Spark Thanks deals and mobile device access to the WiFi phone box network. ↩