Friday, 02 December 2016 10:42

Five years on and Chorus gives free upgrades to fibre customers

Five years on and Chorus gives free upgrades to fibre customers Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

New Zealand's largest telecommunications infrastructure provider, Chorus, is offering a free upgrade for 85,000 residential fibre broadband customers on its entry-level 30Mbps plan, increasing it to 50Mbps.

The offer marks the company’s celebration of five years as a standalone company and Chorus says it will work with broadband retailers to migrate their customers as quickly as possible to the new plan speed – and existing fibre-compatible modems will already support the new plan speeds.

It is expected the migration will be complete early in the New Year, with all customers on a Chorus entry-level fibre plan then seeing their downstream speed increase to 50Mbps.The 50Mbps plan will then become Chorus’ entry-level fibre plan.

Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe says the five years since the establishment of Chorus has seen “monumental changes” in broadband performance across New Zealand, including in 2011:

•    The average downstream speed on the Chorus network was less than 10Mbps, it’s now nearly 35Mbps.

•    Unlimited broadband plans – those without restrictive data caps – were almost non-existent, today uncapped plans make up more than half of all residential broadband plans.

•    A typical home on Chorus’ network used 20GB a month of internet data, today, with the widespread take up of HD online TV services like Netflix, this has increased to more than 120GB.

But, Ratcliffe says, not everyone has managed to keep up with the change of pace in broadband improvements over the last five years.

“While about 400,000 have moved to the best possible technology — either VDSL or fibre — Chorus analysis shows approximately another 400,000 connections could be on better broadband today,” he says.

According to Ratcliffe the time is right for the next step change in broadband performance across New Zealand.

"Five years ago it was hard to predict the impact fibre broadband would have on our connected lives at home and in work. While we knew fibre was set to be a game changer, at the time the entry level 30Mbps plan looked more than ample.

“Today, New Zealand has the highest rate of growth in fibre uptake in the world and a voracious appetite for data. The changes brought on by how we now expect to lead our connected lives led Chorus in its decision to reset the baseline of what we should expect from our broadband.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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