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Bill Bennett


VDSL price, New Zealand’s missed broadband opportunity

Tuanz CEO Paul Brislen says Commerce Commission regulation artificially inflates the VDSL price. He says that’s one reason the copper-based broadband technology isn’t more widely used.

He has a good point.

VDSL squeezes higher broadband speeds from cable networks than ADSL2+. That’s the main technology Chorus delivers to most of New Zealand through its roadside cabinet network.

Good for small business users

This makes it a good interim technology while we wait for the UFB fibre to reach the suburbs. In particular, it works well for video applications. According to TrueNet it suits most small businesses, especially those in suburban homes. VDSL also has potential in rural New Zealand.

Where I live, I see around 12 to 15Mbps down on my ADSL2+ connection. In theory I should get 1Mbps up, in practice I’ve never clocked uploads at that speed.

I’m 600 to 700m from the nearest Chorus cabinet. With VDSL I may get double today’s down speed and see perhaps 10Mbps up.

VDSL price makes it expensive option

As Brislen points out, VDSL2+ is expensive.

I pay $105 for a Telecom Total Home Broadband plan with 120GB of data. A VDSL2 plan with a similar amount of data costs around $160. There are gotchas with call prices and other aspects of the plans which will add to the cost. And I’d need to buy a new modem.

UFB fibre is due down my road – although maybe not past my house – in roughly two years from now. In round numbers a fibre plan with the same amount of data I enjoy today, but 100Mbps down, 30Mbps up will cost around $130.

All up, it would cost the thick end of $2000 to enjoy two years of being able to video-conference. That might just be worth the price if my colleagues and clients were keen to use video and were suitably equipped at their end. They’re not, so no VDSL for me.



7 thoughts on “VDSL price, New Zealand’s missed broadband opportunity

  1. No, it’s the ISPs inflating the cost of VDSL, Snap charge it based on their ADSL packages plus $50 (Last time I checked they did) and Kinect offer a VDSL connection with 100GB of data for $120, which only $7 more than their ADSL plan with the same data cap. I think it’s up to the ISPs to start taking the lead on VDSL and offering it for a decent price

    1. You have a point. It would make sense for ISPs to take lower margins on VDSL so they can win the higher value customers in the run-up to UFB. My guess is there’s still more market consolidation to go and bulk will be more important than gross margins during the fibre transition.

  2. I operate a hosting company in Tauranga and via our supplier, have been able to take the jump and offer VDSL to clients.

    The upload speeds are making a significant difference amongst the companies we’ve signed up (primarily media focused – think videography, photography, TV). What once took several hours to upload to Vimeo, now takes minutes.

    We’ve got an unmetered data plan which us made possible by being a smaller company that already spends a premium on bandwidth (upload for our hosting business) and has download capacity to spare.

  3. Actually you can get 150GB of VDSL through Snap for $110 last I checked thats cheaper than Telecom and for $10 more get a 2talk account and you have yourself a phone. Also the “free” modem they send is awesome and works with VOIP easy and logs into 2talk and can even act as a DECT base station for some phones if not it can be an ATA box for 2 phones. VDSL is awesome why people still put up with ADSL is beyond me over $25 month yet they will spend that at the pub and not blink.

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