Is Spark broadband right for me?
- What Spark broadband offers: Pay for what you use with Spark Unplan.
- The highlights: Spark Music; free modem; free McAfee PC Security; entertainment bundles.
- Watch out for: Early termination fee; Unplan isn’t available in all areas.
Spark is New Zealand’s largest telecommunications company. It is passionate about using technology that enriches the lives of Kiwis and helps communities stay connected. As well as landline and mobile products and services, Spark provides a range of broadband plans via ADSL, VDSL, fibre and wireless to suit the needs of different lifestyles.
Compare Spark broadband plans
Spark broadband plans explained
Spark was the first New Zealand provider to have plans that charge you for what you use each month. Unplan uses three price tiers – up to 60GB, 60GB to 120GB, and 120GB+ – and you are moved through each tier depending on how much data you use. This compensates for any months where you use more or less than usual, so you are not paying for data that you don’t need or having to worry about purchasing extra data packs.
Monthly charges are billed at the end of the month according to your usage and a 12-month term applies.
You can get Unplan with wireless or fibre connections, but Spark recommends fibre for a faster and more reliable service. A phone line is not included, although it’s possible to add one for an additional monthly charge.
Fibre – Fibre is more reliable and faster than other broadband connections, and you can have more devices connected at the same time without interference to your service.
If fibre is ready to go in your area, you can sign up for a fibre Unplan plan with different speeds available:
Fibre Basic: Up to 50Mbps download and up to 10Mbps upload
Fibre 100: Up to 100Mbps download and up to 20Mbps upload
Fibre 200: Up to 200Mbps download and up to 20Mbps upload
Fibre Max: Up to 900Mbps download and up to 400Mbps upload
Wireless – The Unplan Wireless and Unplan Wireless Metro plans use Spark’s 4G network. Once you receive your modem, just plug it in and you’ll be ready to go in a few minutes.
Spark 5G is now available in selected heartland communities and will continue to roll out to further locations. If 5G is in your area, you can get up to 600GB a month on the 5G Discover plan.
ADSL/VDSL – Spark has done away with capped naked broadband plans for ADSL and VDSL with unlimited data on offer for both connections. ADSL has speeds of up to 24Mbps down/1Mbps up and VDSL has speeds of up to 24Mbps down/1Mbps up. You will be advised of the best connection available at your house when you sign up.
Wireless – The Home Wireless and Rural Wireless plans come with 120GB of data and operate at 4G speeds.
The difference between these options and Unplan is that you will pay the same amount each month instead of being moved through tiers based on your usage.
How do I get fibre?
Spark will let you know if you can get fibre at your house when you enter your address on its website. If it is available, you can go ahead and signup, then Spark will arrange for the installation. This process consists of:
- Technicians from your local fibre company visiting your house to plan the installation. This could take two or more visits.
- Obtaining necessary consents from neighbours or landlords.
- The local fibre company completing the installation. Extra building work may be required depending on your property.
- Spark setting up your connection.
The fibre installation process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete depending on build work and consents needed. You should not cancel your current broadband plan until fibre is ready to go. If you don’t have an existing broadband plan and want to join Spark, you may be able to get an ADSL plan so you can get online while you wait.
Standard installation is free, but there may be a charge for non-standard installations.
Are there any bundled extras with Spark broadband plans?
- Entertainment. For around $10 extra per month, Netflix and Lightbox are included for the duration of your plan. If you have an existing Netflix account, you can link it to your Spark account so your charges stop.
- Landline. Add a landline to your Spark broadband plan if required for $10 a month.
- Apple TV. Purchase an Apple TV interest-free with payments spread over 12 months. Apple TV 4K 32GB is $24.95 a month and Apple TV 32GB is $20.75 a month.
- Net Shield. Protect your family from harmful content and set content restrictions. The basic service is free or you can pay $4.95 for premium.
- Tech Wizard. For $15 a month you can have access to Spark’s Tech Wizards. They are available from 6am to 11pm daily to come to your house and fix any technical problems you are having.
- Pay for what you use. Spark’s Unplan broadband plans only charge you for what you use each month.
- Change plans. You are able to make one broadband plan change per billing cycle on the same type of connection. For example, you can switch from Fibre 100 to Fibre Max and only pay the additional plan fee.
- Spark Music. Get access to concert tickets before they go on sale plus the chance to win meet and greets with artists.
- Free modem. When you sign up to a 12-month broadband plan you’ll only pay for the delivery of your modem.
- Free extras. Get McAfee PC Security and a premium email account with your plan. McAfee PC Security is antivirus software that protects your computer from malware, spyware and unauthorised computer access.
What to be aware of
- Once you enter your address on the Spark website, you will be shown the best available plan. However, if fibre and wireless are available you will be shown these options but not ADSL or VDSL naked broadband plans. If you prefer to have ADSL or VDSL, you will need to call Spark to discuss.
- Unplan isn’t available in all areas.
- Since Spark’s broadband plans have a 12-month minimum term, be prepared to pay the $199 early exit fee if you need to terminate the contract early.
- If you have a wireless landline with a wireless broadband plan, certain services won’t work such as downloading SKY ‘pay per view’ movies and your monitored medical or security alarm.
- When you reach your data cap on a naked wireless plan, you are able to get an extra 10GB for $10 but after that your data usage will be blocked.
- If you are an existing Spark broadband customer, discounts or recurring credits such as the $10 bundle bonus stop when you switch to Unplan.
- If you have an Unplan wireless plan and you exceed a specified amount of data, Spark may change you to fibre or to a different plan. For Unplan Wireless Broadband this is 350GB and for Unplan Metro Wireless Broadband it is 600GB.
- The actual speed of your broadband can be affected by a number of factors including home wiring, other networks, your hardware or environmental factors.
Spark broadband plans are worth considering if you like the idea of having a broadband plan that flexes with you so you are not charged for excess data or data you don’t use.
You can have confidence in your internet service with this provider being the largest telecommunications company in New Zealand and having its own 4G network.
However, Spark’s website can be a little confusing if you want to research the different plans. The best way to know what is available at your place is by entering your address and working through the signup process. However, keep in mind that you may need to call Spark’s customer service if you prefer to have ADSL or VDSL over fibre or wireless.
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