Broadband's getting better – but consumers still shafted on voice prices

While naked broadband pricing is improving, Kiwi consumers are still getting shortchanged on voice charges, the Commerce Commission has found – and it's pointing the finger at Telecom.

Its second report comparing New Zealand’s fixed line and telecommunication services with other OECD countries has, for the first time, examined the price of naked broadband and broadband with voice services.

When it comes to naked broadband New Zealand’s pricing is similar to that of other OECD countries and lower than Australia's as a result of competitive pricing among internet service providers.

But the same can't be said for broadband with voice services, a third higher than both Australia and other OECD countries.

The same trend can be seen with residential fixed-line services, where limited market competition means Telecom can charge high monthly rental prices – New Zealand pricing is almost 50 percent higher than the OECD average.

Prepay mobile phone pricing is also higher than it is in Australia due to limited competition in the New Zealand market by comparison. However, when prepay is used for texting it is 31 percent lower than the OECD average.

In terms of data use, New Zealand checks in below average for low mobile phone data use of 50 MB per month. High data use is 56 percent higher then other OECD countries and nearly 150 percent higher than Australia. And for broadband data, New Zealand has some of the highest prices at 77 percent above other OECD countries for large data use of 60GB.