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From the Actrix Online Informer February 2009

Moving to broadband in questions and answers

Most people understand by now that 'broadband' means faster internet, but the regular inquiries to the help desk and to the Actrix Online Informer's Forum section reveal that there is still a bit of confusion out there about how to get it and what's involved in the move. Here's the basic facts broken down into questions and answers.

How does the quality of Actrix broadband stack up against the competition?

In terms of the speed and reliability of Actrix broadband, we are second to none. In fact, in the 2009 Consumer ISP Survey consumers voted us Best Broadband and Best Nationwide ISP.

How much will broadband cost me?

The broadband plans Actrix offers start at $29.95 per month (bundled with tolls) and increase from there depending on your needs. The base plan gives you a speed of up to 4.5Mbps, which is roughly 80 times faster than dial up. This plan is ideal for people who are just wanting to use the connection for looking at a few websites, checking on emails, and the like each day.

What do you mean "bundled with tolls"?

The $29.95 quoted above only applies if you also agree to sign up for Actrix Tolls. All this means is that your toll calling will be charged through Actrix – at our special rates – rather than your current tolls provider. Subscribing to Actrix Tolls entitles you to the $10.00 monthly discount on any Actrix CyberJet broadband plan. In other words, where the base broadband plan would have usually been $39.95 per month, subscribing to Actrix Tolls brings it down to $29.95.

More information on Actrix Tolls can be found by visiting http://www.actrixtolls.co.nz/. if you check our tolls pricing comparison chart and you'll see we're pretty competitive.

Changing your calling to Actrix Tolls can all be done at our end once we have your consent. You don't need to do anything at all, so don't worry about having to change your phone number or anything like that. The crossover is seamless.

How do Actrix broadband costs compare?

A wide variety of pricing plans exists among ISPs, but it's difficult to find anyone offering a cheaper price, or more monthly data at broadband entry levels. Here is a brief comparison of some entry level plans.

Actrix: $29.95 (bundled with tolls) for 3GB per month, or $74.95 bundled with homeline and tolls
Telecom: $39.95 (bundled with tolls) per month for 3GB per month
TelstraClear: $79.00+ (bundled with homeline & tolls) for 1GB per month
Vodafone: $80.00 (bundled with homeline & tolls) for 1GB per month
Orcon $34.95 (bundled with tolls) for 1GB per month

What's the difference between dialup and broadband?

The main difference between broadband and dialup, of course, is the speed. With broadband, it is possible to have much faster speeds because a different technology is used. The other difference is that the Internet is always on (as long as your broadband modem is switched on). This means, as soon as you fire up your computer, you're online.

Can I use the phone while I'm connected to broadband?

Yes you can!. The other beauty of broadband is that it uses the top spectrum of your phone line's copper, leaving the bottom spectrum free to make phone calls. With broadband you can pick up the phone while you're online and your connection won't drop.

Do I need a special modem for broadband?

Yes, you do need to purchase a special modem. You can't use the internal one that probably shipped with your computer. Installing the new modem is pretty easy. It just plugs into the back of your computer. You don't need to take the computer's case off or do anything radical. If you purchase a modem from us, we'll ship it to you already preconfigured with your unique settings. This makes things even easier. When it arrives give us a call. We'll activate your account from our end, talk you through plugging it in and, hey-presto, you're online with broadband.

How much does a broadband modem cost?

At this stage we sell three different modems; A single-port Dynalink modem for $84.95 (best for people with one computer), a multi-port NetComm modem for $99.95 (best for people with more than one computer), and also a Dynalink wireless modem for $139.95 (best for people with more than one computer who want to have the freedom of connecting wirelessly). For more information on modems, the page to look at is http://www.actrix.co.nz/page.php?id=40#2. Prices quoted include GST but not postage and packaging.

Is broadband billed the same way as dialup?

Broadband is billed in a different way. Rather than being billed according to how long you're online, it's all about traffic. That means you get allocated a certain amount of traffic for the fee you pay. Traffic is the amount of kilobytes of material you download or visit such as web pages, emails and other downloads.

What's different about the way Actrix allocates traffic?

Most ISPs allow you a certain amount of traffic per month and once you have used it, they throttle your speed back for the rest of the month unless you pay more. You can have that approach with Actrix if you like, or you could try our unique daily allocation. Under the daily option, when you have used up your day's lot, we throttle your speed back until 2am. The Actrix daily, rather than monthly, approach means you don't have long periods at the end of the month where you're struggling along at dialup speed even though you've paid for broadband.

Can I easily change plans when I'm on broadband?

Most people moving from dialup start on the basic plan. If you are unsure whether the plan would suit you, then rest assured there is always the option to change to one of our other broadband plans further on down the track.  For more information on our different broadband plans, it would be best to have a look at this link: http://www.actrix.co.nz/page.php?id=144. If you decide to change plan, just click on the price of the new plan you would like, select existing customer, and follow the on screen instructions. Alternately, feel free to give the helpdesk a call on 0800 228749.

Are the any installation charges?

With broadband plans there will be a one-time installation fee charged not by Actrix, but by Telecom. Usually a basic installation will cost $99.00 (inc GST), but if you decide to sign up for a 12-month contract with us then we will pay this for you.

Will I need to get a technician in?

A technician won't need to visit your premises for a basic installation, as your broadband service will be activated from your local telephone exchange.

However, if you happen to have a monitored burglar alarm or anything else that is hardwired into your telephone circuit, you will need a full installation where a technician will visit your premises and install a dedicated jack point for your broadband connection. A full installation usually costs $249.00, but we'll pay $100 towards that if you take up a 12-month contract, reducing the fee to just $149.00. We can also organise all this for you as part of the deal.

For more information on the different installation options and what is required for each, please see this link: http://www.actrix.co.nz/page.php?id=40#1.

Will I need filters on other stuff connected to phone lines in the house?

Yes, but these aren't expensive or complicated. You will need to have an ADSL filter put on each phone jack that has a device connected to it such as a phone, fax machine or Sky Digital decoder. These filters can be purchased from Actrix for $12.50 each. The filters simply plug into your phone jack and have 2 sockets on them; one that says "Phone" and one that says "ADSL". Your telephone, fax machine, Sky Digital decoder, or other device will plug into the "Phone" side of the filter, and your broadband can plug into the "ADSL" side.

How long will it take to get up and going?

Because getting you ready for ADSL means Telecom making a change at your local exchange, there is often a short waiting period. In most cases, it takes about two or three working days from the time we receive your application until the time your broadband is up and going. There are sometimes longer delays, such as when there aren't sufficient ports available at your exchange, but these are rare.

What about rural areas?

There can be problems getting ADSL to work in rural areas, mainly due to the quality of the copper network and the distance between you and your local telephone exchange (the general distance threshold is around 4.5KM). If you're unsure, we do have a line checking tool that we can use to get an indication of whether ADSL is possible for you or not (and sometimes a "likely" is the best the tool can give us).

What about if my phone line is with Telstra Clear?

If your line is an actual TelstraClear line on its telephone network, unfortunately you will not be able to sign up for broadband with Actrix. However, if your line is simply a Telecom line resold by TelstraClear, then we should be able to put through an order and get you up and running on broadband. Generally speaking, phone numbers starting with a "9" are TelstraClear lines, but any other number is usually a Telecom line being resold by TelstraClear.

If any of this is confusing or if it just seems like quite a bit of information to absorb, please give the helpdesk a call on 0800 228 749 and choose option 3 for Support. We'll talk it over with you and help you find the plan that suits you best.

 

Copyright 2009 Actrix Networks Limited | Contact: editor@actrix.co.nz