The uncapped data battle

The Herald reports:

Intense competition in the Kiwi broadband market is proving a boon for consumers.

This month, Telecom and Vodafone began offering unlimited data plans (at $109 a month), so users can download as much content as they like without incurring extra charges or having their broadband speeds cut.

On Thursday, Slingshot responded by cutting the cost of its unlimited offer from $109 to $89 a month.

Slingshot spokesman Taryn Hamilton said data use had doubled in the past 12-18 months as people started using the internet more, and data-heavy websites and apps became more common.

There were a growing number of “power users”, people who watched television online, played games and downloaded content, he said. “These people are flocking to unlimited. It gives price certainty, and allows people to use data without thinking about it, or being worried about the cost.”

This is a key point. Once you have flat rate non capped plans, the way you use the Internet can change for many. Under capped plans, many will restrict what they do online – meaning they’re not using the Internet to its full potential.

Peter Griffin, of the Science Media Centre, said the unlimited deals were a sign of a shifting market.

Telecom has about half the country’s broadband customers and where it went, other providers would have to follow.

“It’s just a matter of time before people don’t even think about how much data they have to use.”

Telecom chief operating officer Jason Paris said the company had already sold a few thousand unlimited plans.

“It’s going gangbusters.”

I’m on a 60 GB/month plan and once I move to fibre, will probably go for an uncapped plan.

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