While fibre is becoming increasingly popular due to its speed and reliability, it is still being rolled out across the country. If fibre is not available at your place, VDSL broadband is a viable option when you are looking for a new broadband plan.
What is VDSL broadband?
VDSL stands for Very High Bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line. It is a type of broadband connection that is delivered to your home using the same copper lines as your home phone, but if you’re in the Chorus network, VDSL is delivered to exchanges using fibre cables and then copper cables to your home.
VDSL is the fastest type of copper broadband connection and it can support services such as VOIP and HDTV, and other tasks that use a large amount of data at high speeds.
To be able to get VDSL broadband, your local telephone cabinet or exchange will need to have had a VDSL upgrade to enable the service. However, even if it has been enabled, you will need to live less than 1,200 metres away from the cabinet to be able to get VDSL in your home.
Further upgrades are being made across New Zealand to improve the VDSL connection speed and stability so more Kiwis can enjoy a faster experience.
How fast is VDSL broadband?
While not as fast as fibre, VDSL broadband is a decent alternative if fibre is not available at your place or you don’t want to wait for it to be installed.
Download speeds generally sit between 15-70Mbps with upload speeds of between 5-10Mbps, so you’ll notice a faster and smoother experience compared to using ADSL.
It can be difficult to know how fast your VDSL broadband service will be until it is set up. Speeds can vary due to a number of factors including:
- How far you are from the cabinet
- Condition of the wiring
- The type of modem you use
- The capability of your laptop or computer
- The type of VDSL used
- How many other people are using the service at the same time
- Environmental factors
It’s easy to get confused between VDSL and ADSL since they are both types of copper broadband, but there is a difference between the two.
VDSL broadband is the more modern form of technology. It provides a faster and more reliable connection than ADSL as it uses the copper lines more efficiently. You will notice a better experience when playing games, uploading photos, video calling and streaming video, with less buffering time.
VDSL is currently available to around 80% of New Zealand homes, so it doesn’t have as wider coverage as ADSL. Since it is usually offered at the same price as an ADSL plan with many providers, VDSL broadband is worth considering if you can get it due to its speed and reliability.
How to compare VDSL broadband plans
When you’re trying to choose between broadband deals, here’s what matters.
This is the number one comparison point for any connection. How fast you can download and upload data will affect how quickly you can transfer files and stream videos, as well as how well your Internet works when many people are using it at once. It’s also what you have the least control over because it will depend on your ISP, how far you are from the cabinet, network congestion and environmental factors.
Since maximum download speeds can vary, compare what is offered between providers. If you stream Internet TV frequently, opt for the fastest speed that you can find to reduce buffering time.
With streaming, gaming, video calling and web surfing more prominent in our households than ever before, getting the right amount of data to suit your lifestyle is highly important. Rather than having to keep an eye on how much data you are using each month, it makes sense to want to go unlimited for your home Internet plan.
However, if you’re a lighter user, you can save by opting for a capped data plan. VDSL broadband plans come with a range of data limits, usually starting from 60GB and maxing out at 300GB. You also have the option with most ISPs to purchase additional data if you happen to reach your limit during the month.
Not sure how much data you need? Try out our data usage calculator.
📜 Contract details
VDSL broadband plans are offered on a 12- or 24- month contract, but no contract plans are becoming increasingly popular. Month-to-month or open-term contracts are beneficial when you are unable to commit to a longer-term, for example, if are relocating in the near future or just want the flexibility to be able to change providers when you want.
When it comes to cost, you should always check the minimum total amount you’ll have to pay for a given plan. A longer-term contract may have a lower monthly cost but you’ll be stuck paying it out in its entirety if you decide it’s not suitable. Early exit fees can be hundreds of dollars, and since you’ve signed a contract, you are legally required to pay these charges.
Does a modem come free with the plan? Or do you need to pay for one upfront? Many longer-term VDSL broadband deals come with a free modem or you may already have an existing one that you can use. If you are signing up for an open-term plan, it is likely that you’ll need to purchase your modem or lease it for an additional monthly cost.
You will also need to factor in if there are any connection fees.
🎁 Signup bonuses
When browsing VDSL broadband deals, you’ll notice that there are often signup bonuses on offer. Some providers will give you free access to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video when you sign up on a 12- or 24-month contract, or entice you with a free gift like a new smart TV. You can also see deals that offer an account credit or half-priced broadband for a period of time. Other providers will give you a discount if you bundle your Internet plan with other services such as a mobile plan or energy.
Before you jump at these attractive broadband deals, check that you will actually save money over the course of the contract before making a commitment.
How can I save on VDSL broadband?
Here are some ways that you can save money on your broadband plan:
- Check out your mobile phone provider. It may be possible to save on your broadband by signing up with your current mobile phone provider. Telecommunications companies like 2degrees and Vodafone offer a monthly discount on your broadband plan if you also have a pay monthly mobile plan.
- Consider your energy provider. Trustpower, Contact and Nova Energy all offer discounted broadband plans to their energy customers. Orcon will give you a 10% discount if you sign up for both broadband and power.
- Pay attention to advertising. ISPs are regularly promoting deals for new customers with attractive signup bonuses, so keep an eye on any promotions that you see.
- Do your research. Finding the best broadband deals will take some research as you weigh up the different options and work out what kind of plan you will most benefit from.
- Compare broadband deals with Finder. If you’re in a rush and want to know what are the cheapest options available right now, head straight to our guide on cheap broadband plans.