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Room for improvement in OECD ranking

Room for improvement in OECD ranking

Media Release – 6 November, 2007

New Zealand’s climb in the latest OECD broadband table is positive but the country is still playing catch up with most of the rest of developed world, warns InternetNZ (the Internet Society of New Zealand Inc).

The statistics for the half year to June 2007 show New Zealand now ranks 20th of 30 OECD countries, with 683,500 broadband subscribers (16.5 broadband subscribers per 100 people).

InternetNZ Public Policy Committee Chair David Farrar says that figure is encouraging and a sign that New Zealand’s broadband position is “heading in the right direction” relative to other OECD nations.

“New Zealand has made some gains; we are the 9th fastest growing OECD country in terms of broadband penetration, with a net increase of 4.94 subscribers per 100 inhabitants”.

However, Farrar says New Zealand is still playing catch up with most of the rest of the developed world and must dramatically increase its broadband uptake to achieve the Government’s Digital Strategy goal of being in the top half of the OECD by 2010.

Recent regulatory reforms have been positive and will play an important role in driving up penetration rates. However, moving up the OECD rankings will also require sustained investment in more sophisticated broadband technologies, including deployment of high speed fibre.

“Fibre represents 8 per cent of all broadband connections in the OECD. This is the race of the future yet New Zealand is yet to even get to the starting gate, while others are already a third of the way around the course,” says Farrar.

www.internetnz.net.nz

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