Kiwis to see free upgrades from 200Mbps plans to 1Gbps

New Zealand ISP Bigpipe is set to upgrade customers on its unlimited NZ$129/month 200Mbps plan to 1Gbps speeds.

Following the announcement last week from New Zealand broadband wholesaler Chorus that it would soon offer 1Gbps services across the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) footprint from October, Spark-owned ISP Bigpipe has announced free upgrades for users of its current fastest offering.

"Customers on Bigpipe's Elite plan, who currently receive speeds of 200Mbps upload and download, will be upgraded to gigabit speed free of charge," Bigpipe said in a statement. "The Elite plan will keep the same name, but it will be upgraded to allow speeds of 1,000Mbps download and 500Mbps upload."

The "Elite" gigabit naked service will have unlimited downloads and be available for NZ$129 a month.

In its announcement last week, Chorus said the upgrade will see customers attain speeds of between 900Mbps and 970Mbps down and 500Mbps up, the maximum speed currently allowed by the network.

According to the latest figures from Akamai, New Zealand's peak fixed-line speed is currently 49.8Mbps with an average speed of 10.5Mbps. By comparison, Australia's fixed-line broadband dropped to a ranking of 56th for peak speeds at 43.8Mbps, and came in at 48th for average broadband speeds of 8.8Mbps.

Last week, the company rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN) across Australia claimed providing minimum speeds of 25Mbps across the nation would put it in a worldwide leadership position.

"We're well on track to actually be the first continent to have a fully connected universal access broadband that has 25Mbps or better, and in fact on the speed I think it's important we all realise that 40 percent of the nation when we're done will have access to 1Gbps," NBN CEO Bill Morrow said last week.

"That's better than we think any other nation will be at the year 2020."

Bigpipe, a stripped-back, no-frills internet service provider, soft launched in February 2014, and was one of the first businesses to emerge from incubation within the digital ventures division of Telecom NZ, now called Spark.

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