21 Mar 2014

Home internet plans to standardise

8:30 am on 21 March 2014

A group of broadband companies has agreed to standardise their residential internet plans so customers can easily compare deals between rivals.

Members of the Telecommunications Union have developed what they call an offer summary for all their fixed line residential broadband plans.

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Photo: RNZ

The union, which has been nearly three years in the making, includes Telecom, Vodafone, Slingshot and Orcon.

The summary will detail items such as costs, termination fees, contract periods and service availability, allowing customers to compare apples with apples.

In 2006, Telecom's then chief executive Theresa Gattung made an infamous gaff in which she said telecommunications companies deliberately made plans confusing so they could hide price hikes.

Telecommunications Users Association chief executive Paul Brislen has applauded the move, saying broadband plans are currently very confusing and it's difficult for customers to work out exactly what they're getting.

But he'd like to see the same standards applied to other services including all forms of broadband whether it's mobile, landline, fixed wireless or satellite.

Mr Brislen says there are a variety of technologies in place and it's important to compare and contrast them so customers can make an informed buying decision.

The information will be made available on company websites and in shops.