New Zealand slips a place in broadband uptake race

New Zealand has slipped a place in the OECD broadband rankings, from 21st to 22nd, behind Luxembourg.

New Zealand has slipped a place in the OECD broadband rankings, from 21st to 22nd, behind Luxembourg.

The OECD monitors broadband trends; however, it does not define broadband, leaving that up to the countries that submit the data, says the chief executive of the Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ), Ernie Newman.

"There's quiet a drop back to the bunch behind us as well," says Newman, who questioned the OECD about its figures last week. Newman says there's such a drop back to the last eight nations that even with the removal of Telecom's JetStream

Starter customer numbers, New Zealand would remain in 22nd place.

The country's biggest broadband service provider, Telecom, points out in its advertising that at 128kbit/s, DSL-based JetStream Starter doesn't qualify as broadband. Yet in claiming 50,000 broadband customers, it admits that 73% of those are JetStream Starter subscribers.

The eight countries behind New Zealand have a penetration rate of less than one per 100 inhabitants; New Zealand's rate is about double that.

The OECD average is slightly over five per 100. However, that will be skewed by top-of-the-table South Korea, which has around 22 broadband subscribers per 100.

The latest OECD figures show that broadband uptake is outstripping the spread of cellphones. In six years of broadband availability, it has 80 million subscribers, four times the number of cellphone users in the same period. The OECD estimates broadband subscriber numbers will exceed 82 million by the end of the year.

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