Why are kiwis so attached to their landlines when there are options for having naked broadband, a term used to refer to having broadband that does not need a landline?
Globally the shift towards getting ‘naked’ is growing in momentum. More and more, people are willing to shed their landline and reap the benefits and freedom of ‘naked’ broadband.
Here in New Zealand around 15 percent of households have already ditched the traditional landline and have moved onto ‘naked’ broadband. Although that number is climbing (up from just eight percent in 2006) — when this is compared to countries such as the USA where 40 percent of households don’t have a landline — the number of Kiwis still shelling out their hard earned dollars to use an old fashioned home phone system is still staggeringly high.
Mobile phones have effectively replaced and surpassed landlines both in convenience and functionality. Using a mobile makes sense. It’s always with you, you can make or receive a call from virtually anywhere in the country, you get a handy contacts list built into the phone, and extra features like caller ID and call waiting are usually free.
Why the attachment?
So why are so many Kiwis still clinging to their landlines? Do they really love receiving cold calls from telemarketers, market research agencies, and scammers? Not likely.
As with the adoption of many technologies, it comes down to perception lagging behind reality. A lot of people assume that you must buy a landline with your broadband package. They also assume that the cost of mobile calling is more expensive than landline calling – so they keep their landline because that’s what they’ve always done.
Both of those assumptions used to be true, not anymore.
Today, most ISPs have a ‘naked’ broadband option. ‘Naked’ simply means broadband that doesn’t require a landline. Depending on usage, you could save anything from $10 to $50 per month on your plan, simply by ditching a landline you probably rarely use.
Why ISPs still sell you landline
Many ISPs don’t promote this, they’d rather sell you the landline as well as the broadband.
As for the cost of making calls, that too has changed. The mobile market has become increasingly competitive in the last few years, and especially so in the last few months. Back in 2009, $50 would get you around 100 minutes of mobile calling. Right now, you can get unlimited calls for less than $50 per month with Skinny mobile (and that includes unlimited SMS and a hefty 4G of data to boot). Spark and 2Degrees offer similar plans.
Or if, like me, you don’t really do a lot of talking, preferring free services like Facebook, WhatsApp or email to keep in touch, then you can get smaller amounts like 100 minutes for less than $10. Simply by making small adjustments to your plans, and embracing technology such as Skype for international calls, a saving of $30 or more per month is very likely.
The beauty of choice
The changes in the telco landscape that give Kiwis the choice to make super cheap mobile calls are relatively new, which explains why we are lagging behind the US in terms of ‘naked’ broadband uptake. However, with these cost effective and competitive plans now well and truly in place, I believe we are on the tipping point of seeing a huge increase in the number of Kiwis who want to get ‘naked’.
We saw this trend coming. Every other ISP has some kind of home phone calling option they try and sell you. Bigpipe doesn’t. We only do ‘naked’.
We focus only on the broadband, and nothing else. By selling only ‘naked’, we avoid a lot of the complexity that comes with selling voice services. Our customer’s bills are the same every month – simplicity underpins our ‘naked’ offering.
Some of the benefits of getting naked broadband include no landline required and flexibility, with various levels of investment aligned to varying upload download speeds.
The results speak for themselves. As reported in the latest Truenet report Bigpipe performs strongly against all the big players in the market.
Ultra-Fast ‘naked’ broadband is the next generation of broadband that Kiwis now have access to. So why not give it a go? Get ‘naked’, who knows, you may be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
Oliver Smith is the head of Bigpipe Broadband, a sub-brand of Spark, which offers naked unlimited broadband plans.