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New Zealand's improving broadband

InternetNZ welcomes New Zealand's improving broadband But a long way to go

Media Release March 7, 2007

InternetNZ (The Internet Society of New Zealand) welcomes improvements shown in the latest Internet Service Provider survey from Statistics New Zealand but advises there is still plenty of work to be done before we can experience the full benefits of broadband. The improvement in New Zealand's ranking in the OECD table for broadband from 22nd to 19th is positive, but this will need further progress to reach the Government's Digital Strategy targets.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson says he is pleased at the increase in uptake for the six month period to September 30, 2006 of 28.6 per cent to 611,600 broadband subscribers, and anticipates that broadband will overtake dial-up in the next six months. "Clearly improvements in pricing and plans for broadband are assisting in the increase in uptake."

"However, it is disappointing that 97.6 percent of broadband subscribers have data caps and 68.6 percent have a cap of less than 5Gb per month. And with 60 percent of DSL subscribers having download speeds of less than 256Kbps and 90 percent having upload speeds of less than 256Kbps, we have a long way to go before New Zealanders are able to experience the full potential of broadband," says Davidson.

The statistics also show Internet Service Providers are happier with the Government's sweeping changes to the regulatory environment. In March 2005, 73 percent felt the regulatory environment was a barrier to growth. This is now down to 48 percent.

The market continues to consolidate with ISPs at the smaller end showing a decrease in subscribers and those at the larger end showing an increase. "While some rationalisation is good for the market, InternetNZ would like to see an adequate number of providers with a broad range of services," says Davidson.

ENDS

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