Internet providers respond: increasing data caps
NZ internet providers respond to growing online movie consumption: rapidly increasing their data caps.
When Quickflix launched in New Zealand earlier this year, questions were raised about New Zealand’s notoriously stingy data caps. Some commentators were concerned that the low limits would prevent Kiwis from being able to fully enjoy unlimited digital streaming of their favourite movies and TV shows.
At the time, Quickflix CEO Chris Taylor predicted that New Zealand’s internet providers would have to start raising their data caps, as Kiwis began demanding more choice and flexibility. Also, the Commerce Commission noted that take up of the national ultra-fast broadband network will be driven by the content available.
It seems that local internet providers are beginning to play ball, with data caps rapidly increasing over the past couple of months.
Slingshot and Orcon both offer Quickflix on an unmetered basis to their customers, and are leading the charge on raising data caps.
“Slingshot remains the only New Zealand ISP offering unlimited broadband in the home,” says Slingshot CEO Mark Callander. “Customers shouldn’t have to worry about how much they use the internet – they should have the freedom to use it whenever and wherever they want. This drives every aspect of the Slingshot business, and is one of the key reasons why we offer the Quickflix service unmetered to our customer base.” He promises more announcements on new broadband plans in the coming months.
Scott Bartlett, Orcon CEO, agrees that people’s demand for data is skyrocketing.
“Last year, Orcon introduced 30GB as the standard base on our Genius plans, and the industry followed suit. Earlier this year we moved again, introducing a 200GB plan for $99 and a 1000GB plan for $199. Such plans would have been unthinkably large not long ago. We have moved into a new era, where video content is available on a multitude of devices in the home. Zero-rating services such as Quickflix, and boosting data caps, allows people to really get the most out of the internet and enjoy the wealth of content available.”
Now Telecom is running a TV campaign announcing that they haveexpanded the data cap on their base home broadband plan from 10 gig to 30 gig – a necessity that they acknowledge is partly due to Internet Protocol video consumption.
Chris Taylor says, “We welcome this trajectory and applaud the country’s internet providers for starting to bring New Zealand in line with the rest of the world. In the UK for example, where digital movie and TV viewing is growing so rapidly, most of the leading broadband plans include unlimited downloads. We’re not there yet, but we’re certainly moving in the right direction.”
He also says that the increasing data allowances should ease the concerns of New Zealanders keen to sign up to Quickflix but worried about their data caps. “That’s really not an issue anymore, thanks to the responsiveness of New Zealand’s ISPs. The average Quickflix customer uses just 5GB a month to watch unlimited movies, whenever and wherever they like.”