11 Feb 2016

High price for NZ internet access, despite glowing report

2:25 pm on 11 February 2016

Computer users say the price of the internet is still too high, despite strong praise for the industry at a special forum this morning.

Members of the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum - an umbrella body for companies such as Chorus, Vodafone, Kordia and 2 Degrees - have delivered a glowing report on the health of their industry.

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Photo: RNZ

It said New Zealand had the highest rate of uptake for fibre connections for the OECD, while investment in telecommunications was the second highest in the OECD per capita.

Mobile phone prices had fallen 46 percent in two years, it added.

But Internet NZ chief executive Jordan Carter said ordinary people were still paying a lot for their internet connection.

"We've got very good networks, but relatively high prices to access them. And if those prices stay high, it means that peoples' ability to use these networks to innovate is less than it would be otherwise."

Telecommunications Forum chief executive Geoff Thorn agreed that prices were high, but said there was a reason for that.

"When you compare us to the OECD, we are slightly above average for our fixed-line prices, but that tends to reflect the overall popualtion spread and our geographic base as well."

He said telecommunications costs had been falling for 13 years.

The report also included a table showing favourite uses of the internet.

This showed more than 70 percent of internet users did their banking that way, while more than 60 percent used it for selling things and social networking.

About half used the internet to make inquiries about their health.

The report predicted fixed internet traffic would double by 2019.

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