Finding an Internet Service Provider in New Zealand

Internet services are improving in New Zealand.


Internet Information

Internet Connections
– The Choices

1. Broadband / ADSL

The table below lists broadband prices from several companies.

Most broadband plans in New Zealand traditionally have a data cap, however a few are now uncapped.

Spark’s (formerly known as Telecom) network delivers broadband to most New Zealanders.

In August 2014 Telecom changed its name to Spark.

Smaller companies compete with Spark / Telecom but they still use Spark’s / Telecom’s network to carry their service.

Many of Spark’s rural lines can’t carry broadband.

You can test whether broadband is available in any location using this tool on Spark’s website.

You may need to know a phone number in the area you are interested in. Enter a phone number to discover if Broadband is available in that area.

The average peak connection speed is 22 Mbps for fixed line (ADSL) internet, according to a survey by Ookla in October 2014.

If you are situated close to a broadband exchange cabinet, you may be able to get VDSL which uses the same copper lines as ADSL but gives you much faster broadband. Typical speeds are over 30 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload.

Just under half of all broadband connections now have either no data cap, or have access to 50 gigabytes (GB) or more per month. (1)

2014 Typical Landline ADSL / VDSL / Broadband Prices

Provider Monthly Traffic Allowed Monthly Cost
Inspire 50 GB $40 (maximums: 16Mbit/s download speed and 900Kbit/s upload speed)
Inspire 100 GB $50 (maximums: 16Mbit/s download speed and 900Kbit/s upload speed)
Orcon 30 GB $75 for 12 months contract plus unlimited national landline calling.
Orcon unlimited $95 for 12 months contract plus unlimited national landline calling.
Vodafone 40 GB $75 for 12 months contract (includes Vodafone fixed line home phone and free local calls).
Vodafone unlimited $105 for 12 months contract (includes Vodafone fixed line home phone and free local calls, free calls to 5 NZ landlines or mobiles.)
Spark 40 GB $75 for 12 month contract (includes Spark fixed line home phone and free local calls, free wireless modem and connection).
Spark unlimited $109 for 12 month contract (includes Spark fixed line home phone and free local calls, free wireless modem and connection).
Orcon unlimited $110 for 12 months contract plus unlimited national landline calling. VDSL speeds up to 70Mbps down/ 10 Mbps up

Notes:

• New Zealand is currently upgrading to ultra-fast broadband (UFB) in its towns and cities. This upgrade is expected to be complete in 2019. You can check on this map to see if UFB is available in your area. UFB will allow download speeds of at least 100 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 50 Mbps. Prices for this service are in table 3.

• If you are close to your data maximum, most ISP’s will send you a reminder and give you the option to increase your date allowance.

• Most internet providers give you an option to either throttle your connection back to 64 Kbps (slightly faster than dial-up) for the remainder of the month or to pay for extra data over your cap.

2. Naked Broadband / DSL

With Naked Broadband you do not need to purchase a traditional land-line phone package.

2014 Typical Naked ADSL / Broadband Prices

Provider Monthly Traffic Allowed Monthly Cost
Inspire 5 GB $70
Inspire 50 GB $75
Inspire 100 GB $85
Compass Communications 25 GB $49.95 with free connection for a 12 month sign up.
Compass Communications unlimited GB $74.95 with free connection for a 12 month sign up.
Vodafone 80 GB $55 with ON Mobile Account (plus free wireless modem).
Vodafone unlimited $75 with ON Mobile Account (plus free wireless modem).
Vodafone unlimited $85 with ON Mobile Account (plus free wireless modem).VDSL speeds
Spark 80 GB $65 for 12 month contract
Spark unlimited $89 for 12 month contract

3. Fibre Broadband / Cable

Cable Internet uses fibre-optic cable to carry data. Cable is faster than the ADSL broadband with speeds up to up to 50 Mbps download, 2 Mbps upload.

Ultra Fast Cable with speeds up to 100 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload is available from September 2014.

Vodafone offer cable connections in and around Wellington, the Kapati coast and parts of Christchurch.

Ultra-fast broadband (UFB) prices are also included here.

2014 Ultrafast Fibre / Cable Prices

Provider Monthly Traffic Allowed Monthly Cost
Vodafone 40 GB $55.95 for cable with optional 1G packs at $2.95 per pack
Vodafone 60 GB $75.95 for cable with optional 2G packs at $2.95 per pack
Inspire 50 GB $70 for UFB with speeds 50/10 Mbit
Inspire 100 GB $110 for UFB with speeds 100/50 Mbit
Orcon unlimited GB $95 for UFB with speeds 30Mbps down / 10 Mbps up
Orcon unlimited GB $110 for UFB with speeds 100Mbps down / 20 or 50 Mbps up
Spark 40 GB $85 for UFB (12 month contract)
Spark unlimited GB $109 for UFB (12 month contract)

4. Wireless / Mobile Broadband

You don’t need a telephone line for wireless Internet, but you do need to be close to a transmitter. Several wireless companies operate in New Zealand. Some examples of 2014 prices are:

Vodafone offers mobile broadband. In a recent Epitiro survey of mobile broadband providers in Auckland and Wellington, Vodaphone had the fastest average download speed at 4.1 Mbps. The cheapest plan is for 500Mb of data each month with SIM included and costs $10 per month. Additional data bundles can be purchased at a price of 1 GB for $20, or 11c per MB on casual data. You can also purchase a Vodem Stick or Pocket Wifi if you need one.

Woosh currently covers Southland and parts of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. They charge $39.95 for 7 GB of traffic or $49.95 for 20 GB. The Woosh router costs an additional $5 a month to hire and there is an activation fee from $49.99. If you exceed your data allowance, you can either top up your data package or your connection speed will be slowed down.

Spark also has pay monthly mobile broadband. Prices start from $15 per month for 500 MB of data and a monthly allowance of 3 GB of data costs $49. There are prepaid options as well starting with 500 MB for $15 (one month expiry).

More than half the New Zealand population now uses mobile broadband (1).

Wireless broadband is gradually being installed in rural New Zealand. When completed, it will bring wireless broadband to 86% of rural houses and businesses at speeds of at least 5Mbps. The roll out began in 2011.

2014 Wireless / Mobile Broadband Prices

Provider Speed Downstream Upstream* Monthly Traffic Allowed Monthly Cost
Vodafone 4.1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps 0.5 GB $10
Vodafone 4.1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps 2 GB $40
Vodafone 4.1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps 5 GB $70
Vodafone 4.1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps 30 GB $90 Rural Wireless Broadband plus installation from $99
Wirelessnation 5 Mbps – Mbps 30 GB $102 Rural Wireless Broadband plus 50 GB data off peak plus installation from $228
Woosh - 2 GB $34.95 plus $5 WiFi router rental per month
Woosh - 20 GB $49.99 plus $5 WiFi router rental per month
Woosh - 40 GB $59.95 plus $5 WiFi router rental per month
Spark 3.3 Mbps 0.9 Mbps 500 MB $15
Spark 3.3 Mbps 0.9 Mbps 3 GB $49

* data from Epitirosurvey. (pdf)

5. Satellite Internet

If you need a connection in a remote area, Satellite Internet is the usual solution. In 2012, about half of NZ’s rural dwellers were still limited to dial-up speeds (2). To avoid this, if you live in a more remote area, you may need to consider satellite internet, which is more expensive than broadband.

Installation costs are higher than standard broadband (approx. $300 – $400) and you will need a satellite dish. Farmside and Wirelessnation offer satellite services. To increase data allowance Farmside also have data booster and off-peak data booster packages.

2014 Satellite Prices

Provider Speed Downstream Upstream Monthly Traffic Allowed Monthly Cost
Farmside 1Mbps download 512Kbps upload 1 GB $56
Farmside 2Mbps download 1Mbps upload 4 GB $91
Wirelessnation 1Mbps download 500Kbps upload (max) 3 GB $86
Farmside 3Mbps download 1Mbps upload 8 GB $114
Wirelessnation 5Mbps download 1Mbps upload (max) 6 GB $114
Farmside max download max upload 14 GB $217

6. Dial-up Internet

A standard speed dial-up connection costs from NZ$9.95 per month.

Only three percent of internet users now use dial up in New Zealand (1).

Dial-up Internet speed in urban areas is 52 Kbps. This is the norm for most countries. Dial-up Internet connections are available everywhere in New Zealand.

Typical Dial-up Prices in 2014

Provider Monthly Cost
Trustpower $9.95 flat rate
Vodafone $16.95 flat rate or $12.95 when bundled with a phone and calling plan.
Maxnet $3.95 for 2 hours. Additional hours charged at £1.97
Maxnet $9.95 for 15 hours. Additional hours charged at £1.97

(1) Statistics New Zealand 2014 Internet Survey
(2) Rural Broadband Initiative

Comments

  1. Franke van Netten says:

    I am traveling to NZ leaving on Frtiday for 2 weeks and will have an Ipod and or iphone with me
    I would like to have internet access while there on the ipad and or phone data eg for maps etc.
    What is the best way to get this?
    presently I have a card in the ipad. Would this work in NZ and if so at what cosT?

    • Hi Franke,
      I would suggest prepay mobile broadband could be an option for you. Below are the current options for Vodaphone and Telecom NZ.
      Vodaphone sells a prepaid Vodem stick for $49 NZ which comes with 2GB of data preloaded to use within two months .
      After that, you could then choose between purchasing a monthly allowance or using the daily casual rate.

      Monthly allowances range from $10 for a further 100 MB up to $50 for a further 2GB. Alternatively you could choose to pay at the casual daily rate ranging from $1 for less than 0.2MB usage to $3 a day for 10MB usage.

      Telecom NZ also offer prepaid mobile broadband. The Telecom T stick costs $79 and is ‘plug and play – no set up and includes a SIM card to connect to the XT network. It also comes with 2GB data allowance.

      Once your initial 2GB has expired you will be charged at the casual rate of $1 day for your 1st 10MB and then $1 per MB thereafter.

      Or you could subscribe to a Telecom prepaid monthly plan.

    • I am planning on retiring to Palmerston North and am wondering what is the best combined wifi/cable TV service that I can purchase? Being on a fixed income, I obviously want the best price but am also looking for a high quality provider. Any recommendations?

  2. hello
    i am an indian and will be traveling to new zealand for ten days in the month of february.
    i am looking for internet plans while there and for that need help.
    my requirements are
    mobile internet preferrable and stick if mobile not available.
    data requirement upto 10 gb
    speed upto 1mbps
    coverage in auckland rotorua wellington queenstown

    • Hi Hemant,

      Telecom New Zealand offer 2GB of prepaid mobile broadband which lasts up to 30 days for $50. You can purchase online on their website. If you use more than 2GB of data you’ll automatically revert to the casual data rate of $1 a day for your first 10MB, then $1 per MB thereafter on the days you use more than 10MB. Alternatively you could easily subscribe to another 2GB option online.

      Other companies such as Vodaphone and 2degrees may offer similar deals. You can check exact coverage on their websites.

      According to a survey by Epitiro in 2011 the average download speed for mobile broadband in Auckland and Wellington for Telecom was 3.3 MBps. This compares to 2degrees at 2.7Mbps and Vodaphone at 4.1Mbps.

  3. Hi
    Am moving into a house next week in Ross on the west coast.
    It doesn’t seem to have a phone line into the property and as I only plan to be there for 4 months, am reluctant to pay to have one dug in. Internet however is quite important to us.
    Any advice would be appreciated as I am unfamiliar with the NZ ISP system – Thanks

    • Hi Dan, the most cost effective solution would probably be mobile broadband. We don’t know anyone in the Ross area to ask about conditions there. Perhaps you could ask the person you’ll be renting from what the mobile coverage is like. The 3G mobile coverage maps from Telecom and Vodafone indicate that there’s no 3G at all:

      Telecom Coverage
      Vodafone Coverage

      Coverage maps don’t look encouraging, even for 2G!

      You could ask the question to a much broader selection of people on our forum, some of whom might have experience of internet in more remote areas. http://www.enz.org/forum/

  4. Hi, is it possible to get an unlimited Internet connection here in New Zealand? Or is there always a maximum traffic limit?

    • Hi Fitra, Im American and I’ve lived and traveled around NZ for the past 2 years off and on. As far as I know, theres no unlimited connection. You have to subscribe/pay by usage. Also when you check into a hotel, always ask how much internet access they give free. Even in higher end hotels (over $ 250 per day) you get barely enough to check your e-mails (20 Mb/day is considered generous). However, if you ask for more when you book a room, you could get enough to at least check your news etc.

    • Diving Duck says:

      Hi, don’t know if this is still relevant, but Orcon now do an unlimited package for around $100NZ including their VOIP phone set up. Free upgrade to the ‘ultrafast’ network whenever Chorus & Co pull their fingers out and get digging!

  5. Hi there,

    I’m planning on coming to New Zealand for a month in February. I will be staying in Christchurch with my father who is currently working there. I teach online and will need to continue to do so while in Christchurch therefore will need reliable internet service.

    My father uses the internet to Skype but says that it cuts out a lot during calls. He seems to think that this is something that is unavoidable in the area and that upgrading to a faster dial-up will not help. Some advice on the matter would be gratefully received :) I don’t know which internet provider and package he has, but can find out if it helps in giving an answer.

    Kind Regards,

    Kirsty.

    • You probably don’t need to know this any more, but others may find the info. useful. I found Skype useless for conference calls by 3G, or landline ADSL. I nw use a co called all conference calls now. You have to pay, but it works.

  6. Hi

    Does anyone know if it is possible select a date for Telecom to connect phone and Internet service? We only need the service for 4 months but I can’t see any more cost effective way of getting a decent amount of Internet service, any other suggestions?

  7. If you are staying in Rotorua : Internet is very erratic. I had NZ Telecom and got disconnected several times in an hour (making skype almost impossible). In Hastings/Taradale I had a fast and un-interrupted connection with Telecom in my Hotel, but the hotel owner said that it is impossible to get any tech-support from them.

  8. Is there anyone besides FARMSIDE who provide satellite internet connections in the South Island – near Lake Coleridge?
    Thanks

    • Hi Andrew,

      Wirelessnation also have a satellite internet service. They offer various data packages and have three levels of pricing depending on the maximum upload/ download speed you choose.

      I’ve updated the satellite internet table above with 2013 prices and a couple of their plans.

  9. hi

    iam a international student studying in auckland ,

    1. i would like to know if there is any broadband services which is giving me 30 to 50 gb, my budget is less than $50.

    2. i need a data plan for 1gb for my mobile for using internet, my budget is less than $ $50

    Thank You

    • Hi,

      These are the best I could find at the moment for broadband for around $50 a month:

      Telstraclear has a 20GB package that costs $55 a month for Naked Broadband+ . This gives you maximum speed broadband and a phone line, without having to pay a fee for phone line rental.
      Inspire offers a broadband ‘Bitstream’ plan at $50 a month for 20 GB of data.

      For a mobile plan, Vodafone has a 2GB prepay stick for $69 with up to 2 months to use the data allowance. After that you can top up with 2GB more data for $50 per month.

  10. Melissa Tomlinson says:

    Hi,

    I am moving into a flat in auckland and need to find the best and cheapest deal for a landline, internet and freeview. I dont mind using separate if its cheaper that way.

    Iv been searching the interenet but have had no luck so far understanding the details.

  11. I had a M8 tell me the other day about something called VLP or VLS internet .. its meant to be 2-3 x faster than ADSL, Do you know anything about this and if so where i could get it . my M8 didn’t know to much about it..

  12. Hi my name is Ronald and i will hopefully be immigrating to NZ in 4 months time, at home in Holland im used to a unlimited data transfer for the internet, complete plan for tv and telephone and I pay aprox €60.00 which is around $90.00 a month. what is the price for a equivelent plan in NZ? Who can advise me which providers there are that offer unlimited data in Auckland.

    • Hi Ronald,

      Orcon have an unlimited broadband plan (12 month plan) which also includes national telephone calls for $99 a month. It is available in Auckland and they have an address checker on their website.

      TV can be free with freeview or you can pay for packages from Sky TV.

  13. Hello, awesome page mate, really informative.

    Im hoping to move into a new place in rural Raglan soon (Whale Bay), and its imperative that I have internet access as im finishing a PhD. However the landlord wont put a phoneline in coz it will cost $1000 to install. Furthermore, there is only a tiny spot in the backyard that picks up vodafone coverage. As such, are those Farmside and Wireless Nation providers my only option? Cheers

  14. HI

    I will be based in New Zealand in Hawkes Bay. I require a high speed internet connection with download at 100mbps. Is it available in New Zealand.
    Thanks

  15. Hi there!
    I’m from Argentina, about to go to NZ. I don’t understand about all theese internet plans.
    If my plan is to move around the country, which type of connection do you recomend for laptops (I work online).
    Thanks!

    • Hi Laura,

      If you are moving around New Zealand then you would be best with a mobile broadband plan. Vodafone and Telecom are two internet providers who offer mobile. Prices will vary depending on usage, Telecom had a plan that starts at $30 a month for 750 MB of data.

  16. Hi There,
    We are moving to a rural area, the house is near the town of Kaka Point in South Otago, just wondering what the options for internet would be there? Thanks

  17. hi,,

    I am moving to NZ end of the November ,, I would like to find the best and cheapest deal for a land line,n internet,, im going to moving into a house in Mt Roskill

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