Voyager Internet announces new pricing changes to broadband offerings
Voyager Internet is making changes to its residential broadband, voice offerings and pricing in the wake of rising third-party costs and inflation.
This comes at a time when many other internet providers across Aotearoa are expected to announce comparable price increases in the coming weeks.
With inflation hitting record numbers this year, the company says that wholesale costs to retail internet providers have risen at the fastest rate ever.
They say Local Fibre Companies (LFCs) Chorus, Enable, Northpower and Tuatahi Fibre provide New Zealand's retail ISPs with the "last mile" fibre wholesale access to peoples' homes, and these LFCs are continuing to increase their prices according to the Consumer Price Index.
While the company says it has absorbed all supplier price increases for the past five-plus years, they are now no longer in a position to do so.
Effective 1 July 2022, Voyager say they will offer a simplified range of open-term only residential broadband and VoIP services at standardised pricing.
Previously, the company offered discounts for 12-month term contracts. Now, all plans will be open-term, priced at the existing open-term rate, and no 12-month terms will be offered. They say all broadband plans will continue to provide unlimited data.
Voyager founder Seeby Woodhouse says that the company has done a significant amount of work over the years to prevent price increases, but the increase in data usage and demands, as well as supplier requirements, have made it necessary.
"Voyager's goal has been to deliver an excellent customer experience and value for money," he says.
"Over Voyager's lifetime, we have done everything we could to avoid raising prices for our customers, instead choosing to absorb annual cost increases ourselves.
"These costs have come from suppliers and third parties, as well as steadily increasing data usage and demands that have required us to invest in our network. However, as with many other ISPs, our costs have now risen significantly to the point where we can no longer avoid making changes without compromising our level of service."
As part of a Chorus promotion, Voyager recently tripled the speed of its most popular plan from 100/20mbps (down/up) to 300/100. This saw data usage increase by 14% in one month, which the company says put further cost pressures on the business.
Woodhouse says Voyager would rather provide customers with premium services as opposed to dropping prices and limiting their full potential
"Rather than limit speeds to the internet, we would rather bill people a fair price and give them the fastest internet experience that we can," he says.
Voyager chief commercial officer Deidre Steyn agrees that customer satisfaction is paramount. She says the new changes along with many other significant projects in the works, including a major six city nationwide 100 gigabit core network upgrade, will help customers in the long run.
"Thanks to these investments in our infrastructure, Voyager customers will continue enjoying premium service, and will soon be able to purchase new products from us," she says.
"As a premium provider we want to maintain our customers' high satisfaction, and these changes will enable us to do that."