Fixed broadband services in decline

Five percent drop in the total number of fixed broadband connections

Statistics New Zealand has released the results of its latest annual ISP survey saying it shows a five percent drop in the total number of fixed broadband connections in New Zealand from June 2015 to June 2016.

It attributes the decline to customers accessing the Internet through mobile phones and having the option to ‘tether’ other devices to their phone.

The survey showed almost half of all broadband connections had unlimited data plans at 30 June. A year earlier, only about 30 percent were unlimited. Statistics NZ also reported a 70 percent increase over the year, to 143,000 terabytes, in the total volume of data downloaded by all consumer and business broadband services.

Mobile phone internet connections used a total of 3,165 terabytes of data – an average of 900 megabytes per connection. (The report does not break out other wireless connection such as those form wireless dongles or portable WiFi access points).

Statistics NZ business performance senior manager, Jason Attewell, said residential broadband connections used an average of 88 gigabytes each during the month of June 2016, the equivalent to 85 hours of video or TV streaming.

Statistics NZ said: “This increase in data usage is likely to coincide with the increasing number of streaming services available, and the continuing popularity of these. Additionally, telecommunications services are 20 percent cheaper in June 2016 than in June 2011.”

The survey found the number of fibre-optic broadband connections to have more than doubled since June 2015. Over 220,000 broadband connections in New Zealand are made through fibre, compared with 105,000 one year ago,” it said.

As at 30 June 2016, over 12 percent of all broadband connections were through fibre-optic connections. Statistics NZ said: “International comparisons reveal that New Zealand is still below the OECD average for broadband connections through fibre, which was 19 percent as at December 2015). However, New Zealand has more fibre connections as a proportion of total broadband connections than Australia, which had seven percent as at 30 June 2016.”

The government aims to have 80 percent of New Zealanders able to access the internet using fibre by 2022. Today 65 percent of services are over DSL.

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