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Understand Fibre

Understand what Fibre Broadband is, how it might get installed, what speeds you could get and what happens in a power cut. If you want to order Fibre, check out the Set up Fibre guide.

  • Fibre is a fast way to connect your broadband and phone line. It carries information through lightweight fibre optic cables. It’s the global standard for broadband.
  • The New Zealand government is rolling out fibre optic cables around the country. By 2022, 87% of New Zealanders will be able to access Fibre.
  • Local Fibre Companies install Fibre in New Zealand. These are Chorus, North Power, Tuatahi First Fibre, Enable and Unison.
  • Order Spark Fibre by putting your address into the address checker. You can view the current plans there too. Check your address
  • If you already have Fibre connected with a different service provider you can transfer it to Spark. Find out more
  • To connect to Fibre, a new fibre optic cable needs to get installed between your place and the street.
  • The technician will discuss options with you in their first visit. After build work is complete, they'll come back for an installation appointment.
  • There is no concrete timeframe to get Fibre. There are many factors that impact how long it will take for each customer. Some installations will be done in weeks while some can take a few months.
  • To get Fibre installed, go to Set up Fibre

1. Whether to keep your copper line

  • You can run your broadband and home phone over fibre so you don’t need to keep a copper line
  • If you have a medical alarm or security system running on your landline, you'll need to contact the manufacturer to check if it will work over fibre
  • Phones that run on fibre won't work if there is a power outage

2. Where cables will go

  • Your new fibre cable will be run from the Fibre access point in your street to the side of your house or garage
  • It could be an aerial cable, an underground pipe, surface cabling or another option. Your technician will talk you through this at the first visit

3. Whether you need integrated wiring

  • Integrated wiring is when your new fibre cable connects to your existing phone jackpoints. This means you can keep using them.
  • If you have phones, alarms or security systems that rely on your home phone line, this could be an option for you. Let us know if you want integrated wiring when you order. That way you won't pay an extra cost later.

4. Which Fibre plan to choose

  • Fibre has different speeds.
  • There are currently three different Fibre plans that offer different speeds:
    • Everyday Fibre: Average download speed 50Mbps and average upload speed 10Mbps or 20Mbps**
    • Essential Fibre: Average download speed 314Mbps and average upload speed 109Mbps*
    • Max Fibre***: Average download speed 908Mbps and average upload speed 518Mbps*
  • You can see the speeds offered at your address by using the address checker when you buy Fibre. Fibre plans
  • You also need to decide if you want to keep a phone line. If you do, it will connect through fibre. If not, you can buy Naked Broadband.

* Speeds shown are Spark national peak time average speeds based on the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand (MBNZ) June 2024 report. You may experience a higher or lower speed than this. Factors such as the performance of your modem, location of the server you’re connected to, the performance of your device and your in-home WiFi setup can impact the speeds experienced.    

** Estimated national peak time average speeds. You may experience a higher or lower speed than this. Everyday Fibre is available in Chorus, Enable, Unison and Tuatahi First Fibre areas only. Upload speeds depend on your location. Chorus and Unison areas will be provided with 10Mbps. Enable and Tuatahi First Fibre areas will receive 20Mbps.  

*** It's best to use a wired connection for the best Max Fibre experience and you'll need a compatible modem. Older modems, devices and cables might not be able to achieve the speeds that Max Fibre is capable of delivering. Learn about broadband performance

5. Where to put your equipment

Your technician can discuss where to put the equipment with you, but here is a guide.

  • External Termination Point (ETP): You'll already have this for your copper line. Normally it’s fixed to the outside of your house. It’s there to connect your new fibre cable to the Fibre hub on the road.
  • Optical Network Terminal (ONT): This is also known as the Fibre box. It connects the modem supplied by Spark to your Local Fibre Company. Choose a place where you'll get the best connection. If you can’t find a spot that works, you might need extra wiring put in, which can cost more. Ensure there are power points nearby, as well as jackpoints if you have a Fibre landline. It’s also helpful to install the box close to where you use the Internet. For a lot of people, that’s near a TV or computer. If you have a new build, check with the property developer if the communications panel has CAT 5 star wiring. If so, this is the best location for the box.
  • Fibre WiFi modem: When you’re ready for your Fibre connection we can courier the Fibre modem to you. This means you'll be ready when the install happens.

6. Whether your security or medical alarm will be compatible with Fibre

  • Check with your alarm company to see if your alarms will work. Once connected, you should test them over the new Fibre connection. 
  •  If you have any issues with your alarm you should contact your alarm provider 
  •  If you have a St Johns medical alarm on your copper home phone line, please contact them to organise a change to the wireless monitoring system. St John's Medical Alarm Devices. St John's Medical Alarm Devices
  • We recommend that you speak with your medical or personal safety alarm provider to discuss if your device will work in a power cut when you change to Fibre. If  you, or someone in your household, relies on your landline service for medical, safety or disability reasons, you may be able to apply to be listed as a vulnerable consumer. If you qualify, Spark will provide you with a means to call 111 emergency services in the event of a power cut. This will be provided at no cost.  
    Get onto the Vulnerable Consumers register

Here are some useful things to do before your appointment.

  1. If you rent your property, ask your landlord for permission before the appointment and discuss if they would like to be present at the scope appointment.
  2. Contact your alarm provider to make sure it works with Fibre.
  3. Put the appointment in your calendar so you can plan to be at home.
  4. Read the installation agreement. You'll sign this at the end of your scope appointment. It  covers what to expect from your Local Fibre Company (LFC) and what they expect from you.
  5. Your technician will call or text you on the number you provided. You can expect a call 24 hours before your appointment and on the morning of the appointment. It's important to respond.

During the scope or one day installation appointment:

  1. Let your technician know where your monitored and medical alarms are.
  2. To keep your existing jackpoints (phone line ports) for your landline, let us know so we can include integrated wiring with your order.
  3. Show your technician where your current modem is. This will help them when they discuss with you where to put the hardware inside your home.
  4. Ask how the fibre cable will get to your house. Your technician will recommend a plan to install the fibre cable. The recommendation may be to follow the existing cable. For example, overhead from a power pole. If they can't follow the existing path, they'll discuss a new plan with you.
  5. Tell them your 'no-go' areas. Let the technician know your preferences and any areas they shouldn't touch.

Your next steps

  1. Ask if there's anything you need to arrange, such as the trimming of a hedge. Find out how to inform your technician once these things are done.
  2. Sign the install agreement with your technician, and ask for an email copy of your signed version
  3. Confirm your installation appointment date (if you don't have a one day installation). You would have booked this the same time you booked your scope appointment. You can go to the online Fibre Tracker to check the date.

Here are some of the build methods the Local Fibre Companies can use. Every property is different so these options aren't all available for each connection. The technician will discuss the best option during the scope appointment.

Aerial cable (overhead line)

  • If you currently get phone and broadband through an aerial cable, the new fibre cable can be put in the same way

Buried in a grass verge or garden

  • If you’ve got a grass or dirt driveway, the fibre cable can be buried under that. They'll dig a shallow trench and lay the cable inside. If the trench needs to curve around a tree or path, that’s not a problem.

  • The installers will restore areas they've disrupted so it looks the same as before.

  • You may need to pay for this option if your current installation is above ground.

Buried cable under a driveway or path

  • If there is concrete from the road side to your property, they may drill or dig a trench to bury the new fibre cabling.

  • The installers may drill a temporary hole at each end of your driveway to pull the fibre cable through.

  • If your driveway needs trenching, installers can cut through the top layer to lay cables.

Fixed to a fence, driveway, or retaining wall

  • If there's a strong enough surface between your house and the road, your fibre cable can be attached to it. This surface could be the edge of a driveway, retaining wall or a fence. It’s a good option if you don’t want any digging.

  • The fibre cable is lightweight, ultraviolet (UV) stable and approximately 7mm in diameter. It's very strong and is very hard to damage.

Via a power pole

  • If your Fibre installation needs to be run via a power pole the council may need to carry out work. It can take a few weeks to a few months to get consent for this work, along with traffic management and pole repair. Once this is done, the Local Fibre Company technicians can connect the Fibre network.

  • You'll be notified if your property is affected by this.​

Non-standard installation

If your installation becomes non-standard, a Spark representative will be in touch. A quote will be supplied for this work. It will need to be approved before the work can begin.

You'll need a non-standard installation if:

  • Your house is more than 200m from the Fibre access point on the street
  • If you decide to install your Fibre modem in a different place from the Fibre box and need extra wiring

  • If there is difficult terrain or structures at the property that are hard to work around

  • You may need extra wiring if you want your Fibre box in an unusual place. Some people like to put it in a room that’s hidden away. Others like to wire it up to a TV or computer that isn’t so close to where the fibre cable enters the property. Note that the further away it is, the weaker your connection will be.

The non-standard installation could include:

  • Extra fibre cabling

  • Converting an overhead cable to an underground cable.

  • Connecting a Fibre box to a location that is not easily accessible

Switch from aerial to underground

  • If you’ve got an aerial line but want Fibre to go underground, you can chat with Spark. Your Local Fibre Company will do the work but you'll cover the costs. If it’s easier, the technician can show you where the trench needs to go and you can do the work yourself.

  • While underground work is getting done, your Fibre order will be on hold. Once done, your technician will come back to finish the installation.

Please note: In some cases where you need a non-standard installation, depending on what you've requested and your local fibre company you may receive a quote for extra costs without a scope appointment.

Upload and download speeds depend on many factors, including:

  • New Zealand and overseas networks
  • Your modem
  • Your computer's technology
  • Internal home wiring
  • Environmental factors

Considerations to improve your Fibre speed

  • Fibre is shared with others in the network. Speeds can vary depending on the number of people on it at the same time.
  • Other wireless devices, including your neighbours' WiFi, can affect your WiFi connection.
  • The age of your equipment may slow your speed. For example, an older WiFi adapter may not be as fast.
  • Other software can also limit bandwidth processing
  • It's best to connect devices directly to your modem. You can use high-speed Ethernet wiring. This offers a more reliable connection and faster speeds than WiFi.

Solve broadband speed issues

  • If your landline service is provided over Fibre, then it may not work in a power cut. This is because these technologies rely on power in your home to operate. This means that if there is a power cut in your home you will not be able to make calls to 111 emergency services on your landline (unless you have a backup power source).
  • Some medical alarms may also not work in a power cut – you should speak to the company that provided the device if you are unsure.
  • We recommend you have an alternative means of contacting 111 emergency services in the event of a power cut such as a charged mobile phone. Remember to keep the mobile phone charged, make sure everyone at your place has access to it and knows how to use it in an emergency.
  • If you or someone at your place, don't have a means to contact 111 in the event of a power outage and are at particular risk of needing to call 111, you may be able to register as a Vulnerable Consumer. If your application is successful, we will provide you with a suitable device, at no cost to you, so that you can contact 111 for a minimum period of time during a power outage at your premises. You can apply to be a Vulnerable Consumer by filling out a written application form and if you have any questions you can contact us on 123. Find out more about Vulnerable Consumers at

If you have an outage in your area check out our Connection Promise

When you are ready to order Fibre, find out how to Set up Fibre