9 Nov 2010

High broadband users pay more in New Zealand

2:31 pm on 9 November 2010

The Commerce Commission says the cost of low and medium use of broadband in New Zealand is broadly in line with comparable countries, but high users do pay more.

The commission benchmarked prices for fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services against international prices, and compared New Zealand with Australia, Britain, Norway and Sweden.

For all but high usage, broadband prices are similar.

For example, the commission says, New Zealanders pay less than Australians for two-gigabyte and 10-gigabyte plans but a third more for plans over 40 gigabytes.

Mobile broadband prices high

Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson says he's not convinced that New Zealand's distance from the rest of the world and the cost of international bandwidth is behind higher prices: Australia faces similar issues, he says, yet prices are significantly lower for high users.

Meanwhile, mobile broadband prices are high across all levels of usage.

Fixed-line voice calls are relatively high by international standards, putting New Zealand in the bottom third of the OECD, because of high line rental charges and relatively high fixed-to-mobile calling prices.