Australia may be a bigger, better paid and more powerful nation than New Zealand. Yet there are areas where we are way out in front.
Recently I've worked on a project reporting the state of broadband around the world. Without giving my client's story away — I'll share it when the feature is published — I discovered New Zealand average download speeds are already significantly higher than those found in Australia.
That gap is only going to widen as more New Zealanders switch from copper to fibre.
Yesterday Communications Minister Amy Adams reported New Zealand's Ultrafast Broadband network now passes 517,000 premises.
More importantly 39,510 people have signed to buy fibre services. In round numbers that's eight percent of the possible market. The number is roughly in-line with rates seen in similar fibre projects elsewhere in the world.
Sure there have been niggles about aspects of the UFB roll out, but, on the whole, Chorus, Enable Networks, Ultrafast Fibre and NorthPower have done an excellent job laying fibre. And now the ISPs are starting to sell fibre services in earnest. While it hasn't all been smooth sailing and there are shoals ahead, the project is tracking well.