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Consumers jump at Maxnet unlimited deal

15 Mar 2012

Kiwi customers have already shown their frustration with ISPs capping their internet plans; now, they are showing they aren’t afraid to pay to have them removed.

High-end ISP and data centre operator Maxnet recently started offering unlimited broadband plans for $99.95 per month, with the only caveat being that consumers had to go on a wait list before being connected, so that the company could add users gradually to make sure the sudden influx of heavy usage didn’t harm connection speeds.

Maxnet internet services & marketing lead Andrew Schick says the response has been ‘overwhelming’, and the waitlist is ‘very full’.

"The trend with new users is that when they are connected they download everything, then slow down when they run out of hard drive space,” Schick says.

"We believe the number on the waitlist would be significantly higher if we had made a big splash about it, but we chose to announce it quietly to ensure we could properly maintain a premium service without causing extended wait times.”

The slow-and-steady approach also lets the company buy more capacity as its user base grows, monitoring peaks to make sure there’s no risk of user experience being compromised.

The programme is currently adding around 50 unlimited users per week, but the goal is to increase this over time. As a further control measure, Maxnet ‘shapes’ torrent traffic between 7am and 8pm.

"Our aim is the internet generation,” Schick says.

"They’re not using the internet the way we used to. For example, with no data cap you can cancel your Sky subscription. You don’t need it any more.”

Consumers don’t have to be Maxnet customers to sign up to the wait list, although once contacted the person needs to take up the offer within five days.

The company has also released graphs showing its current national and international bandwidth utilisation, which Schick says is part of a plan to be transparent about how its network operates.

"There is a big demand for reliable high-quality internet services, and we don’t believe anyone else in the market is offering anything similar.”

Go here for more info on joining the wait list.

Note: Paragraph 7 edited to clarify that Maxnet’s goal is to increase the number of users being added per week.