New Zealand dial-up customers are on the rise, with Statistics New Zealand reporting a 4.1% increase in the number of active accounts between March and September last year.
New Zealand had 1.24 million active internet subscribers as of September 2005, Stats NZ says, giving a ratio of 30.2 netizens per 100 inhabitants. The number of active subscribers in New Zealand increased 7.2% between March and September last year.
The exact number of households in New Zealand, with and without internet access, won’t be known until the figures from this year’s census have been collated. Projections based on the 2001 census estimate that the number of households in September 2005 at just under 1.6 million.
Most of the internet subscribers were residential, says Stats NZ, but the number of business users shot up by 17.4% during the period.
However these people are by and large using slow lower analogue modems to connect to the internet, the figures show — and that number is increasing despite the recent broadband drive.
In the six months to September last year, the predominant connection technology for 869,300 active users was analogue modems, Stats NZ says, as compared to 369,600 “non-analogue” ones.
Of the non-analogue connections, DSL is the most common, but Stats NZ also counts cellular, wireless, cable, satellite and others in this category, which increased by a solid 15% last year.
Last year, dial-up users accounted for around 70% of all internet users in New Zealand.
Since most New Zealanders use dial-up, our download connection speed during the time of the survey were predominantly below 64kbit/s. Likewise, upload speeds were below 64kbit/s in most cases. When it comes to non-analogue connection alternatives, download speeds were 128 to 256kbit/s for most users, followed by 512kbit/s to 2Mbit/s. Upload speeds followed the same pattern.
Three-quarters of internet providers identified competition as the biggest barrier to growth. However, 59% thought New Zealand’s telecommunications regulatory environment was holding them back, down from 70% in March 2005, followed by the high cost of international bandwidth, with 36% singling out that factor.
The survey is the second six-monthly one conducted by Statistics NZ and ironically enough, it is entirely paper based. Statistics NZ expects the next ISP survey to be published in August this year.
AT A GLANCE
There were 1.24 million active internet subscribers in New Zealand between March and September 2005
70%, or 869,300, were modem users
Total residential internet penetration was around 30%
Business uptake of internet connections increased by 17%
66 ISPs compete for the 1.24 million customers
Dial-up access increased 4% from March to September