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Internet connections

The Internet has dramatically changed the way government, businesses, and individuals operate. High-speed Internet is seen as an enabler of international connectivity, which is important for a geographically isolated country such as New Zealand. High-speed Internet provides New Zealanders with access to international markets, and new ideas and knowledge, which are considered key drivers of innovation, productivity, and economic growth.


The New Zealand Internet Service Provider (ISP) Survey and the Australian Internet Activity Survey collect information on Internet services provided by ISPs, including speeds and connection technologies. The surveys use the same timeframes but slightly different population coverage.


Australian data for June 2009 excluded ISPs with less than 1,000 subscribers, while New Zealand data included all ISPs. However, it is estimated that this difference had minimal impact on the results and no adjustments were made to the data. Refer to ‘Technical notes’ for more information. All results are for June 2009.

Table 4

Table, Non-analog subscribers

There were 1.1 million non-analog Internet subscribers in New Zealand compared with 7.3 million in Australia, more than six times that of New Zealand (Australia is around five times the size of New Zealand).1


Digital subscriber line (DSL) was the most common non-analog connection technology in both countries. Of non-analog users in New Zealand, 77 percent used DSL compared with 57 percent in Australia. This difference can be partly explained by the rapid growth of mobile wireless connections in Australia, from 1.3 million in December 2008 to 2 million in June 2009. Mobile wireless connections made up over half of the other non-analog connections in Australia at June 2009.

Table 5

Table, Internet subscribers by download speed

Broadband users made up 72 percent of all Internet subscribers in New Zealand compared with 87 percent in Australia. Over half of all broadband users in both countries had speeds of 1.5Mbps or greater.


1Based on population estimates, but it should be noted that counts of subscribers are not the same as counts of people or businesses, because subscribers may have accounts with more than one ISP and a single ISP subscriber account may provide Internet access to multiple people.

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