Growth in the number of Internet service accounts in New Zealand has levelled out this year - but the total has still topped 300,000, according to IDC New Zealand.
The research firm's 1998 New Zealand ISP census, conducted during the third quarter of this year, also found that while more than 200,000 of the accounts are time-based, flat rate access "continued to show considerable growth".
The top three ISPs, in order, were Xtra, Clear Net and The Internet Group (Ihug). Nationwide ISPs accounted for the overwhelming majority of the 315,020 subscribers - with less than 4% of accounts held with local-only providers. IDC expects this trend to be accelerated as Telecom's IPNet erases the benefits cheaper local access costs have held over toll and 0800 access.
IDC expects New Zealand ISPs revenues to top $116 million this year - most of it from core access services. The company expects that as access pricing becomes "increasingly competitive", value-added services will begin to provide a larger proportion of total revenue.
Copies of the bulletin containing the full census results are available for purchase via the IDC New Zealand Website at: