11 Dec 2011

Internet use up, more people on broadband

7:59 am on 11 December 2011

A new survey has found New Zealanders are using the internet more than ever before.

The World Internet Project's six monthly survey indicates the country's internet usage has climbed to 86% of the population.

It found nine out of 10 internet users have a broadband connection at home and 58% of New Zealanders feel the internet is important or very important in their everyday lives.

A quarter of the country's internet users access the web through smartphones or portable devices and 64% percent of New Zealanders now use social networking websites.

World Internet Project New Zealand spokesperson Professor Allan Bell says people are accessing the internet in more of the living areas in their homes.

"We've seen that trend over the past four years but this year for the first time we find seen a majority of people saying that they are mostly accessing the internet in the living spaces - the kitchen, the dining room, the lounge and that kind of zone," he says.

Mr Bell says that is made possible by wireless technology.

He says New Zealand's use of broadband, at 90% of internet users, is now in line with other countries.

He says four years ago the proportion of internet users accessing the web with broadband connections was just 67%, which some in the industry regarded as shameful.

The survey questioned more than 1200 people about their internet habits.