Sky and Voda: NO. Spark and Netflix: YES!

The Commerce Commission said ‘no’ to Vodafone and Sky TV last week. ?It is fair to say that both Sky TV and Vodafone didn’t see that coming and it has left them reeling. ?At the time, wondered “Why the need for one balance sheet? ?Why not just partner up?”.

Feb. 27 (BusinessDesk) – Spark New Zealand has announced what it says is an exclusive deal with Netflix to offer bundled packages, just days after the Commerce Commission rejected Sky Network Television’s proposed merger with Vodafone New Zealand on the basis it would stifle competition, especially in access to premium sports content.

Under the Spark-Netflix tie-up, Spark broadband customers will get a one-year subscription to Netflix?s standard plan when they signed up to a 24-month ‘Unlimited Data Spark’ broadband plan, the telecommunications company said in a statement. The Netflix deal would “sit alongside Spark’s current Lightbox offer”, it said.

Chief executive Simon Moutter said the deal was “consistent with our shift towards becoming a digital services provider, rather than just a traditional telco.

Spark has an institutional understanding of making strategic partnerships. ?Apart from the Xtra/Yahoo! one, which Telecom/Spark was seriously let down on, they generally add value to both partners without the need for complicated merger or takeover processes. Read more »


NZ Herald’s owner NZME, have had a server compromised

And the ones to “out them” are Spark. ? No really.


Thanks for playing the Spark Arcade game recently. It?s a promotion we set up with our partner NZME. Unfortunately, we?ve been advised that there has been a security breach on a server used by NZME, hosting the Spark Arcade website.

This means some information about you (your name, email address and mobile number, whether you won a Spark Arcade prize or not, and if you did, what that prize was) was vulnerable to access by a third-party.

A security breach. ?That’s interesting. ? Read more »


New Internet cable, but no free broadband for all New Zealanders


Work on a new trans-Tasman broadband cable is due to start in Raglan by March 29 after telecommunications companies Spark, Vodafone and Telstra jointly invested about $US70 million in the project.

About three kilometres of the cable would be buried under seabed from Ngarunui Beach in Raglan.

This first phase would take about a week to complete.

From there, a larger specialised ship would take over to connect the next section of cable across the Tasman and eventually to Australia.

I’m amazed we need another cable already. Didn’t Kim Dotcom gift one to New Zealand?? Read more »

Might is Right (how the big companies killed Global Mode)

The “Global Mode” case has been settled in favour of the big media companies.

A notice posted this morning to the NZX by Sky TV reads, in full: “The legal proceedings against ?Global Mode? service providers have been settled. As a result, from 1 September 2015, the ?Global Mode? service will not be available to any person for use in New Zealand.” [See expanded statement by Sky TV to media end of article.]

In return for CallPlus dropping its service, the media companies have dropped their case.

Sky TV, TVNZ, MediaWorks and Lightbox owner Spark brought a High Court Action against the CallPlus (owner of Orcon and Slingshot) over their Global Mode service, available to all customers of its ISP services, which made it easier to access BBC iPlayer, Netflix US and other offshore content services usually geo-blocked to New Zealanders. The action also covered Bypass Network Services Ltd (BNSL), the tiny Auckland company that developed the Global Mode technology used by Orcon and Slingshot (plus a half-dozen smaller ISPs who threw in the towel as soon as the legal action was brought).

The big media companies claimed the service breached the Copyright Act and the Fair Trading Act.

I really felt there was a solid argument to be had about parallel importing, but I can understand why a relative minnow like CallPlus does not have the financial resources to take on companies that spend the same amount on office expenses every week. Read more »


Cry Baby of the Day


While people are experiencing floods and the resulting destruction, loss of power, homes and all that goes with flooding some little cry baby in Howick is having first world problems.

A Howick man is fuming after it took two days for Chorus to sort out an internet outage that affected more than 120 east Auckland residents over the weekend.

The Bleakhouse Rd resident, who did not wish to be named, said he was disappointed it took two days to be told the issue with with Chorus’ fibre network rather than his internet service provider, Spark, which he had contacted repeatedly.

The man said his internet had been working as normal when he left home early on Friday morning.

“I get back – there’s no internet.”

Boo fricken hoo, harden up cup cake, at least your house isn’t under water. ?? Read more »

Spark and Whaleoil are now seeing each other behind Tiso and Manhire’s backs

by Pete


Nothing useful came from it other than the Twitter terrorist seeing clearly that another corporate will bend to their pressure. ? We still have the phones. ?We still use Spark. ?Spark still deals with us. ?Good heavens, Spark is between a rock and a hard place. ?If they dump us, we will go feral. ?If they dump on the terrorists, they will go feral. ?It’s ridiculous. Read more »

Attending the Decade of Dirt party? Bring your copy of #DIRTYPOLITICS


Nicky Hager – New Zealand’s Most Hated Person 2015, holds up the books he made from emails that didn’t belong to him.

It’s going at $2.99 on the Warehouse junk table these days. ?And people are still not buying it. ?However, if you got a paper copy, and you would like to make it much more valuable, bring your Dirty Politics book to the Decade of Dirt party, and Cam will sign it for you. ? Read more »

PROVIDED BY SPARK: Report from the Decade of Dirt party, and be in to win a Samsung Galaxy A5

Spark have come to the party, so to speak, and offered a number of prizes. ?One of them is the Samsung A5 smartphone.

People who are at the Decade of Dirt party tonight and become Ground Crew reporters* go into the draw to win this fine looking phone valued at $699.


Not the actual A5 phone. The colour may be different (like black), and you may not get to choose your preferred colour

Read more »

SCAMWATCH: Spark customers targeted

Telecommunications giant Spark has blown the whistle on a well-organised scam where fraudsters attempt to gain access to customer?s computers and online bank accounts.

The scam involves a call to an unsuspecting customer, telling them their services will be disconnected unless they update their settings or clean up their computers.

Potential victims are directed to a website and asked to download software which allows the scammer to gain remote access to their computer.

From there, the customers are asked to log-on to their personal online banking and switch off their cellphone, with the scammer attempting to keep them talking for a long time.

In some instances, the customer is given a made-up employee number or called back repeatedly after the initial conversation to ?verify? their identity. Read more »


Sue Chetwin’s Consumer rort

e22e23Consumer Magazine has been one of our flagship institutions for generations. ?Need a new heat pump? ?What about a fridge? ?What is the best phone company?

Our parents as their parents before them turned to the independent and comprehensive advice found in Consumer Magazine.

In the past, at least, you wouldn’t have expected Consumer Magazine to favour one product or service over another based on how much that company paid Consumer in cold hard cash.

But that has changed. ?Come with me as I take you on a tour of damning evidence.

Internet providers are doing a worse job with customers more likely to be dissatisfied, according to an annual survey by Consumer NZ.

It said satisfaction in their overall services had dropped 6 percentage points to 68 per cent over the past year, based on a poll of more than 10,000 of its members.

Vodafone and Spark had “a long way to go” before their customers felt satisfied with their services, it said.

Consumer NZ said the feedback showed an overall decline in perceptions of network reliability, but Spark spokeswoman Lucy Fullarton said that did not marry with independent reports from the likes of Wellington testing company TrueNet which indicated Spark’s network was “stacking up really well”.

Spark would nevertheless study the report and was always looking to improve its services, she said.

Vodafone spokesman Brad Pogson said it had invested significantly in its fixed and mobile networks over the past year and in January TrueNet had said its cable customers had the best webpage download times.

2degrees was the “standout” mobile network provider, Consumer NZ said.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin confirmed the company had paid about $20,000 to become accredited as a “Consumer Trusted” business but said that could have “absolutely no influence whatsoever” on its survey findings.

Do you believe Sue? ? Read more »