In this digitally connected world, having a stable and speedy internet connection is relied on for everything from business transactions to online shopping to streaming movies. When it comes to the fast internet, ultra fast broadband - “UFB” - is the way of the future for New Zealand. Using fibre optical cables, it has the capacity to send more data simultaneously and offers higher speeds than any other ADSL or VDSL broadband connection.
Currently known as New Zealand’s fastest internet connection, it’s the perfect solution for high internet users who are online often and enjoy streaming movies, TV and music.
UFB first became available to Kiwis in 2010* - today, over 200,000 households, schools, businesses and healthcare facilities throughout New Zealand are currently using an ultra fast broadband connection.
Back in 2015, the NZ Government launched a $1.35 billion ‘Ultra Fast Broadband Initiative’, to roll out fibre-to-home connections in all major towns and cities with over 10,000 residents by 2019. An additional $150+ million was invested in the extension of this programme, to increase coverage from 75 to 80 percent of New Zealanders.
Let’s take a deeper look into ultra fast broadband and how it can benefit your house or business.
What’s the difference between UFB and regular broadband?
A regular broadband connection (ADSL or VDSL) uses existing copper lines for transferring data. Ultra fast broadband, however, uses a new network of high speed optic cables. These optic cable are better able to deliver high speeds across greater distances, which results in much quicker download speeds.
While regular broadband offers speeds from 1Mbps - 40Mbps, fibre speeds can reach up to 200Mbps. To put this into perspective, downloading a two hour HD movie roughly 3.5G in size would take an hour on an ADSL connection. On an ultra fast broadband connection, it would take under five minutes to download the same movie.
There is no argument - fibre is much faster than regular broadband. The old copper lines simply cannot compete with the newer fibre optic cables. And UFB isn’t actually more expensive than ADSL or VDSL either - a lot of entry level UFB deals are comparable in price to a standard broadband plan.
UFB Fibre Map: getting UFB in your area
The NZ Government is still currently working on the Ultra Fast Broadband Initiative to rollout UFB to 70-85% of the country. As this is a massive job for Chorus, the rollout is staggered, and they continue to work on it suburb by suburb. This means that not all towns and cities have unlimited fibre broadband available to them.
If you’re still using an ADSL or VDSL broadband connection, you can check online to see if fibre is now available in your area. Chorus has provided UFB maps to help Kiwis determine whether their network area can get a fibre connection or not. Check out the ultra fibre map to see the availability throughout New Zealand:
Want to see the different types of unlimited fibre broadband packages available? Use our free and easy to use online comparison tool where you can compare broadband deals from NZ’s leading internet service providers.
Pricing between UFB and normal broadband
You may be surprised to hear that ultra fibre broadband isn’t an expensive internet option - in fact, it has comparable costs to a normal ADSL or VDSL broadband plan. Meaning you get to enjoy ultra-fast speeds for the same price as your regular broadband connection!
ADSL or VDSL broadband averages between $75 to $100 a month for an unlimited data plan. An unlimited fibre broadband plan with unlimited data has similar costs - ranging for $75 to $105 per month. The exact costs depend on your preferences, such as whether you want a contract or no contract plan.
As fibre continues to roll out across the country, many of the leading broadband companies in New Zealand are now offering great deals and promotions to get Kiwis on board. From free account credit to free Netflix subscriptions to free televisions, deals on fibre packages have never been better.
Getting UFB installed
Once you know if UFB is available in your area, you’ll need to place an order for fibre with your broadband company - this starts the process of getting unlimited fast broadband. The process can differ slightly, depending on where in New Zealand you live.
If you don’t own the property you live in, you’ll need to get consent from the property owner first, as installers will require this before starting the installation. Your broadband provider will send a Chorus technician to meet with you to discuss the details of the installation, including any work that needs to be completed both in or outside the property.
The technician will take care of all the physical aspects of the installation, and once it’s completed, it’s up to you to get connected. Your broadband provider will provide you with instructions for connecting to your modem.
Will UFB be available in my area soon?
With the nationwide rollout of fibre broadband, the anticipation to get super fast broadband is through the roof for some Kiwis. As the Chorus technicians work their way across the country, fibre broadband is soon to be available throughout all main cities and towns.
You can keep updated on fibre availability in your area by using the Chorus UBF map online. Simply enter in your address to see when the Chorus team are expecting to be building the new fibre network in your area.
If you’re looking for faster internet speeds in the meantime, and you’re currently still on an ADSL or ADSL2+ plan, we recommend taking a look at the latest VDSL broadband plans. While you wait for fibre in your area, you can enjoy speeds of up to 70Mbps on a VDSL broadband plan! That’s much quicker than ADSL’s average speed of around 2Mbps.
How does ultra fast fibre work?
Fibre broadband is delivered to your home through tubes that have fine strands of cabling in them. Data is transferred through the transparent material - usually made of glass or plastic - and has the capacity of sending data close to the speed of light! This is how fibre is able to achieve such ultra fast speeds and provide such a high standard of user satisfaction.
Fast internet isn’t the only benefit - fibre broadband allows multiple users to play or work online - with no interruptions and dropping speeds. It’s well equipped to handle multiple downloads and high definition streaming, without the buffering or freezing!
As UFB has similar plan prices to regular broadband, there’s everything to gain and nothing to lose by switching over to a fibre internet package. Ready to get started? You can find the best unlimited fibre deals from NZ’s top providers and compare them online using our free comparison tool.