From next month Tauranga residents will be part of the next step in the changing ultrafast broadband landscape with one local fibre company preparing to usher in faster downloading speeds with the ‘Giganet'.
Ultrafast Fibre announced this week it's launching a residential, one gigabit per second wholesale fibre broadband service across its entire network, offering the country's fastest residential fibre plan to date.
The new service, offered through broadband retailers, will be available in the eight centres where Ultrafast Fibre is constructing its network: Tauranga, Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Wanganui and Hawera.
Ultrafast Fibre chief executive Maxine Elliott says the new download speed will provide a dramatic increase in comparison to what most residential broadband users currently receive.
'To put it in perspective, our new one gigabit service offers up to 10 times the speed of our fastest current residential service of 100 megabits per second,” says Maxine.
'To mark the milestone, we are renaming our Central North Island urban network ‘The Giganet'.”
Ultrafast Fibre is a local fibre company owned by Crown Fibre Holdings, WEL Networks and Waipa Networks, building 13.7 per cent of New Zealand's total UFB coverage in the eight centres.
Full Flavour Media managing director Jesse Archer says the announcement is a long time coming, with current default settings sitting at a mere 30 down, or 30 megabytes per second.
Full Flavour is one of four local ultrafast broadband internet service providers in Tauranga – alongside EOL, Netsmart and Trustpower.
Until the announcement, the company's standard entry level fibre speed has been 50Mbps download, 20Mbps upload – about five times faster than regular broadband.
The introduction of the one gigabyte service sees the standard entry level fibre plan will shift to 100mbps download, 20mbps upload – about 10 times faster than regular broadband.
'This is a huge differentiator in that ISPs, such as Full Flavour, will be able to offer 100 down, which is on average 10 times faster, as a default entry level speed.
'And hopefully we will see a move from the other ISPs around Tauranga and nationally to move away from these slower speeds,” says Jesse.
He envisages the shift will appeal to the significant number of 'work from home” businesses in Tauranga – about 80 per cent of the current customer base – in what sets themselves apart from the national providers.
'In particular as a regional ISP, this becomes unique to us and the ISPs that are local and we look a bit more attractive than Telecom and Vodafone because they aren't going to launch a gigabit plan that's only in Tauranga and Hamilton.”
Maxine says the step up in speed will convince broadband users still in the mind-set that 'copper is good enough for now” of the huge benefits ultrafast fibre provides.
'It stands to make a huge difference for residential broadband users.”
The wholesale price for the service is $65 per month; but individual retailers will set the final prices for consumers. Ultrafast Fibre will offer the one gigabit service plan and its wholesale monthly price until 2020.
Ultrafast Fibre is also working towards launching two other new wholesale services next month – Ultra 100, with a 100 megabit per second download speed and 20 megabit per second upload speed, and Ultra 200 with a 200 megabit per second download speed and 20 megabit per second upload speed.