Broadband uptake rises

17:00, Jul 20 2012

New Zealand has consolidated its 17th position among OECD countries for broadband subscribers and is closing in on 16th-placed Japan.

The country had 26.9 broadband accounts per 100 people in December, putting it one place behind Japan, two behind the United States, and slightly above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average of 25.6 connections per 100 people.

Connection numbers rose 2.7 per cent during the six months to December, ahead of the OECD average increase of 1.8 per cent and well ahead of Japan's 1.2 per cent rise.

New Zealand's low OECD broadband ranking became a hot political topic before the Labour government's 2006 telecommunications industry reforms, but it has been gradually climbing up the table.

That may be because almost all of New Zealand's previously relatively high number of dial-up internet users have now made the switch to broadband.

Telecom had claimed, before the 2006 reforms, that free local calling encouraged the use of dial-up. Fairfax NZ