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Kiwis forking out to feed broadband appetite

New Zealanders want more fast broadband and have a growing number of connected devices, according to a recent ISP survey, but international rankings show we’re still lagging on price performance.

An Orcon survey of a thousand Kiwi households showed 40 percent expected to use more internet data this year and showed those households had an average of five internet-connected devices.

Of the participants, 41 percent said they were considering upgrading to very high bit rate DSL or ultrafast broadband, while another 15 percent said they’d already upgraded to this technology to enable faster speeds.

However, recently released OECD statistics for September 2012 show New Zealand’s broadband prices often ranking among the top ten most expensive across a range of plans, in price per megabit per second of advertised speed.

New Zealand rated fifth for growth in fibre connections at 140.7 percent, but fibre penetration here remains low at 0.99 percent of total connections.

The OECD also rated us highly for the increase in overall broadband subscriptions (4.9 percent), the fourth highest increase among the ranked nations. However, we rate 15th for overall broadband penetration out of 34 countries, with 29.5 subscriptions for every 100 residents.

InternetNZ says removing data caps on plans will encourage broadband adoption. “Service quality is an important driver of broadband take-up,” says CEO Jordan Carter. “As improved content is delivered to New Zealand, these caps should become the anachronistic relic they are.

“Already we are seeing some of the smaller retailers offer uncapped broadband plans, but we need the bigger players to step up and deliver better service.”

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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