There are many things to consider when looking to purchase a home and broadband package, not least of which is how to navigate the reams of marketing collateral that telecommunications providers have to show you! Before you let providers dictate their terms and products to you, it’s a good idea to clearly identify what you need and how much you’re willing to pay. This article will suggest eight important questions to keep in mind.

1. What sort of broadband is available in my area? Some isolated parts of New Zealand do not yet have access to wireless or fixed line broadband, meaning that satellite may be your only option.

2. How fast do I need my broadband to be? Not all broadband connections are born equal! If speed is important to you, you may like to visit the website www.nzbt.org.nz. This site was set up by the government-owned Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) in 2012 and compares broadband speeds in different parts of the country and between different internet service providers. Some rural broadband packages also set rates based on upload/download speed, so make sure that you read the fine print before signing up.

3. How much data do I need? It can be tricky to estimate how much data you’ll need per month, so enlist the help of salespeople. Visit at least two providers and tell them your needs, how many people will be accessing your network connection and what you will generally be using the internet for. Be honest – if you spend an hour a day watching Justin Bieber songs on YouTube, the salespeople need to hear it so that they can accurately advise you how much data you’ll need per month.

4. What calling options do I want? Are cheap national calls important to you just on weekdays or every day? Different packages will come with different calling options, so take a few moments to review your landline use now.

5. Are there extra costs that I’ll need to incur with a broadband package? Ask whether the package includes equipment such as a wireless router, otherwise you may end up surprised by unexpected expenses.

6. What incentives are providers offering to new customers? To increase their market share, providers are often willing to woo customers with free products such as security suite licenses or with 3 months of free internet use. If there appears to be nothing on offer, don’t be shy to ask, as salespeople generally have leeway to throw in a few extras to close the deal.

7. How long do I want my contract to be? This is a tough question. On the one hand, a 24-month contract will tend to offer lower monthly rates and a couple of extra sign-on incentives. On the other hand however, a shorter 6- to 12-month contract affords you the added flexibility to shop around for a new package or provider if you are unable with the level or service.

8. What provider should I choose? Again, there’s no right answer, so we suggest you shop around. The New Zealand broadband market has become extremely competitive lately and there are some great deals out there. A good rule of thumb is to talk to other consumers and ascertain whether the provider you are considering has a reputation of providing reliable service in your region.

 

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