The amount of subscribers to broadband in New Zealand have increased 30%, which also results in New Zealand jumping from 22 place to 19 in the OECD rankings, and having a total of 1.4 million Internet subscribers.

In a six-monthly survey by Statistics New Zealand, Internet Service Provider Survey, covering the six months prior to September 30, 2006, the amount of non-analog broadband subscribers reached 28.6%, more than the previous survey conducted the previous year, reaching a total of 611,600. There are currently 14.7 broadband subscribers per 100 people in New Zealand, previously nine.

Because of the increase in broadband subscribers, dial-up subscribers have dropped 5.1% since the start of April, 2006. Chief executive of ihug, an Internet service provider, Mark Rushworth said that dial-up will always have its place.

Out of all the broadband subscribers, 97.6% have a data cap, which limits the amount of monthly downloading that can occur, usually measured in multiples of gigabytes. 66.6% of all those who do have a data cap, have a limit of up to 5 gigabytes. Which the Internet Society of New Zealand’s (InternetNZ) executive director, Keith Davidson, said was disappointing.

The increase in broadband subscribers rose the position of New Zealand from 22 to 19 on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) rankings for broadband uptake, dated June, 2006.

InternetNZ, has said that they welcome the survey saying that it is a good improvement, but “…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.” InternetNZ also says that it will be hard for New Zealand to reach the targets set out by the Government’s “Digital Strategy”.

Mr Davidson said that the main reason for the uptake in broadband is the better plans and pricing for the plans.

In the 18-months leading up to the end of September, 2006, 34% of ISP’s had reported that the regulatory environment had been restricting their growth.

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