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InternetNZ encouraged by broadband subscriber growth

Media Release – 1 August, 2008 – InternetNZ (The Internet Society of New Zealand Inc) is encouraged by a Statistics New Zealand survey that shows the number of broadband subscribers has increased 10.7 percent to 891,000.

The results, for the six month period ending March 2008, also show there are over 1.5 million Internet users in New Zealand and that the number of dial-up subscribers has fallen 9.3 percent, indicating positive transition from dial-up to broadband.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson says New Zealand rates well against other countries in terms of its overall Internet penetration but while the rest of the world is embracing advanced broadband, many New Zealanders are making do with last century technology.

The survey shows that the most common download speed for broadband subscribers is between 2Mbit/s and 10Mbit/s. However, Davidson notes that connection speeds are theoretical maximums and don’t necessarily reflect achievable speeds to end users.

“There may be 30 people connected to a single telco cabinet, sharing a 2Mbit/s stream back to the exchange. At peak use times this could mean their ‘broadband’ may be as slow as or slower than a dialup connection.” Most users have a small five gigabyte data cap, indicating perhaps data costs are still an issue and perhaps causing reluctance from some users to full embrace what broadband offers.

The survey shows that strength of competition and the regulatory environment are less of a barrier to ISP growth than previously. Worryingly however the cost of international bandwidth is increasingly perceived as a barrier to growth, says Davidson./p>

“The Southern Cross cable is a potential bottleneck with its monopoly provision of service. Having a second or third fibre optic cable to New Zealand would be valuable to provide competition for international bandwidth.”

“What we are seeing is an increasing conversion from dial-up to broadband, which is pleasing. Also, the Government’s regulatory changes including the operational separation of Telecom is being seen as a good thing and there seems to be an increasing willingness for new service providers to enter the market.”

For more information contact:

Keith Davidson

Executive Director


021 377 587
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