Kiwis missing out on broadband savings because they don't shop around - NZ Compare analysis

Internet access in New Zealand
Spark has already announced an increase in price, with more expected to follow. Photo credit: Getty Images

Financially struggling Kiwis are potentially missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings on their broadband bills because they are failing to shop around, says a price comparison company.

NZ Compare, which operates a suite of comparison websites in New Zealand, estimates over half-a-million households would be able to pay less for internet, but are unaware of the potential savings or are unsure how to do it.

Given the cost of living rise in Aotearoa, that's money that could be better off in the pockets of consumers.

The company, which claims to be used by over 400,000 Kiwis each month, said broadband bills may have avoided the effects of inflation so far, changes are coming soon for many due to wholesale price increases.

Spark has already revealed its customers are facing between $3 and $5 a month increase on broadband plans, which will affect all fibre plans and copper broadband plans.

It said fibre and copper network company costs and other rising expenses were to blame for the price increase.

Other companies are "very likely" to follow suit as costs increase throughout their supply chain, NZ Compare said.

CEO Gavin Male said it was amazing that so many people remain loyal while on legacy pricing and plans when it comes to their internet connection.

"The cost of a retail broadband plan has been one of the few consumer goods to steadily fall against the CPI index over the last decade yet hundreds of thousands of households are yet to explore the alternatives which could save them a significant amount of money," he said.

"There are over 100 broadband providers across New Zealand, yet over 60 percent of broadband connections remain with the two largest providers, Spark and Vodafone.

"These companies offer some good deals and value, in particular when bundling mobile plans, but it still pays to shop around before you commit."

With more players entering the market there are some "really great deals" to be had at a time when the cost of living keeps rising, Male said.

"Your broadband and power bills are two household expenses that you can often easily save money on."

The company's analysis calculated there may be close to $100 million a year in potential savings being left on the table by Kiwi households.

That comes despite switching broadband providers and plans now being relatively simple, with ISPs having to make it easy for eligible customers to switch.

"Consumers should not be disadvantaged from working, studying or staying connected simply because they're unaware of how to compare their broadband bill and we implore these households to seek out help on how to switch to a plan and provider that may better meet their needs" Male said.