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OECD broadband figures a disappointment for NZ

OECD broadband figures a disappointment for New Zealand

InternetNZ: Media release – for immediate release
Friday 21 October 2005


"The latest broadband uptake figures released by the OECD show that New Zealand is still lagging behind – and that is disappointing," said InternetNZ President Colin Jackson today, responding to the OECD’s publication of international comparative statistics in this area.

"At June 2005, New Zealand’s DSL subscriber rate was 6.4 per 100 inhabitants. Total broadband connections were 6.9 per 100 inhabitants.

"This is 22nd out of 30 countries in the OECD, and is below the OECD average of 7.2 per 100 for DSL, and 11.8 for all types of broadband. We are far behind world leaders like Korea, the Netherlands and Denmark, all of whom have reached over 20 subscribers per 100 inhabitants for all forms of broadband subscription.

"The only faintly bright spot in the figures is that the growth in uptake for New Zealand from June 2004 to June 2005 was slightly higher up the rankings at 19 out of 30 – but this was a growth rate of only 3.45 per 1000 inhabitants. This though is not enough to really improve our ranking.

"In the dial-up days, New Zealand was a world leader in Internet access. We are now well behind and we are showing little sign of catching up.

"The technology is available. The only issues are the price and range of services available, and much of InternetNZ's work in the past year has focused on trying to help improve the regulatory framework to bring prices down and improve the services available.

"These worrying statistics pose a challenge to the industry and the government: if New Zealand is ever going to gain the benefits that widespread access to high quality, affordable broadband will bring, telcos, ISPs and the government together need to lift their game," Colin Jackson said.

"In the recent election campaign, many of the political parties made encouraging noises about the need to create a more competitive and more appropriately regulated market for broadband. It is now up to the Minister, David Cunliffe, working with other likeminded parties and the industry as a whole, to take the steps needed to make this happen," concluded Colin Jackson.

ENDS

OECD figures:
http://www.oecd.org/document/16/0,2340,en_2649_34225_35526608_1_1_1_1,00.htm

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