Is Bigpipe broadband right for me?
Bigpipe offers plans ranging from ADSL to super-fast broadband at affordable prices.
- The highlights: Free to join and free modem; one free house move; easy sign up.
- Watch out for: Phone support isn’t an option; you can’t pay by direct debit.
Bigpipe provides unlimited data plans through three connection types. The Spark-owned company keeps prices as affordable as possible by not including add-ons or extras you don’t need, just naked broadband for you to enjoy streaming, gaming and surfing to your heart’s content.
Compare Bigpipe broadband plans
Types of plans offered by Bigpipe
All Bigpipe broadband plans come with unlimited data on a 12-month plan, or you can choose a Leave Anytime contract for flexibility to cancel when you want. Bigpipe’s plans are ‘naked’, which means a broadband service without a landline, and you can choose the type of connection best suited to you or by what is available in your area.
UFB stands for ultra-fast broadband, which you probably know more commonly as fibre. By signing up to a naked UFB plan you’ll get a faster connection and speeds that are just not possible with ADSL or VDSL. If it’s available in your area, you can choose from four different plans that range from standard fibre through to super-speed fibre.
- Starter. Get entry-level fibre speeds of 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload.
- Expert. 100Mbps download and 100Mbps upload gives you ultra-fast uploads.
- Pro. Download even faster with 200Mbps download and 20Mbps upload.
- Elite. The fastest internet experience with speeds of 700-900Mbps download and 400-500Mbps upload.
ADSL and VDSL
ADSL and VDSL are the entry-level and mid-range broadband connections offered by Bigpipe. If you don’t have fibre in your area you may have one of these options available. While not as fast as fibre, you can still enjoy streaming and surfing the net but with slower download speeds.
- Fast: Suitable for lighter internet users with 5-20Mbps download and up to 1Mbps upload speeds.
- Turbo: Turbo uses faster VDSL with speeds of 15-60Mbps download and 5-18Mbps upload.
It’s important to note that download and upload speeds are not guaranteed and can depend on a variety of factors including hardware condition, wiring and server capacity.
Getting connected to Bigpipe
Standard connection is free when you join Bigpipe on a 12-month contract and quite often you are able to get all set up within 5-6 working days. However, there are some situations where a home visit is required and connection fees will apply, including:
- If you live in an old home that has corroded wiring
- If you’ve moved into a new home without wiring.
If you want a Naked UFB plan and fibre is available where you live, then it will need to be connected to your property if it hasn’t been already. A technician needs to come to your house to plan the installation and then physically connect a fibre optic cable to your property from the street. There may be additional building work required or consents needed from neighbours or landlords.
This process is free thanks to the New Zealand government’s initiative to roll out fibre across most of the country. However, there are factors that mean you’ll need to pay for a non-standard installation, such as living more than 200 metres from the road.
It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months to get fibre connected depending on the work involved, but Bigpipe will be able to give you a time estimate when you sign up.
Are there any bundled extras with Bigpipe?
Bigpipe keeps things simple by offering naked broadband-only plans. However, for $45 you can add Static IP to your broadband plan at the signup stage. This is a one-off charge and means that you will always connect to the internet with the same IP address.
- No joining costs. Get a free connection and a free modem when you start a 12-month contract.
- No data caps. Unlimited data means exactly that. You won’t be charged extra for heavy use or have to abide by usage policies.
- Online support. If you need to contact Bigpipe you can do so by sending a message to the Auckland-based service staff. Staff are active daily from 8am to 8pm. You can expect to receive a response within two hours for connection problems or 24 hours for other queries. You can also communicate with Bigpipe through the website chatbot.
- Easy sign-up. No long hold times trying to get everything sorted on the phone. You can complete the sign-up process online in just a few minutes.
- Free house move. If you need to change address during your contract, Bigpipe allows for one free house move every 6 months provided you give at least 10 days notice. This means that your connection and plan will transfer over so you can get online as soon as you’ve moved in.
- Use your existing modem. If your existing modem can support Bigpipe broadband plans, you can use it instead of requesting a new one. You can check if yours is compatible by entering the make and model on the Bigpipe website. Some configuration may be required but Bigpipe will inform you of what you need to do.
- Hassle-free plan changes. If you decide to change your plan before the end of your contract, Bigpipe will facilitate this provided the connection type is available at your place. Even if your plan changes over before your bill date, you won’t be charged for the new plan until the next billing cycle.
- Fast connection. Your Bigpipe connection is normally completed within 5-6 working days provided no additional wiring or installation work needs to be done. You will be informed if this is going to take any longer than usual but do remember that new fibre installs can take anywhere from one week to a few months.
- Bigpipe App. Manage your account and troubleshoot your internet connection with the Bigpipe App.
What to be aware of
- Communication with Bigpipe is completely online and this is something that you have to acknowledge that you understand when you sign up. This may be an issue for you if you prefer to be able to speak to someone on the phone when you need support or have a query.
- If you have an existing landline, you will lose it when you switch to a Bigpipe plan. This may not be of too much concern if you tend to use your mobile phone plan more, but some homes rely on their phone line for a monitored alarm, a medical alarm, ordering ‘pay-per-view’ movies on SKY or for a fax machine. If you need these things then a Bigpipe broadband plan will not be suitable.
- While Bigpipe offers one free house move per six months, you will be charged $50 for each additional move in the time period. Additional wiring charges may apply if your new house doesn’t have an existing broadband service.
- It’s not possible to change your bill date so you will be charged on the anniversary of your connection date each month. If you prefer to have all your bills going out at the same time to coincide with your payday, then consider this when you are signing up.
- Your monthly bill will be deducted from the credit or debit card you used to sign up with. You cannot pay by direct debit.
- Although some existing modems will work with many of Bigpipe’s plans, they may not work on all. For example, one make and model may be able to support all plans apart from the Elite super-fast fibre connection. This is not of great concern though as you can use one of Bigpipe’s modems for free if you sign up for a 12-month plan.
- Bigpipe broadband does not come with a dedicated email address. You may be able to keep your email address from your current provider for a small fee or you can sign up to a free email account with Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook.
How to join Bigpipe
Bigpipe has a simple online signup process:
- Enter your address to see the plans available at your house.
- Click on the plan to see more information, then click Sign Me Up.
- Select either a 12-month or Leave Anytime contract.
- Choose your preferred connection date – either ASAP or a specific day.
- Decide if you want to include Static IP.
- Read and accept the terms and conditions.
- Enter additional information.
- Review your plan and enter payment details.
Bigpipe broadband is worth checking out if you’re looking for a no-frills plan with unlimited data. The plans are easy to understand and there are many benefits to joining this provider. In saying this, there are some things to consider, so take your time to compare your options and ensure you are signing up for the most suitable broadband plan for your household.
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