Greater data caps see Kiwis’ online options broaden
Stats NZ says in 2011 the two main internet service providers were offering packages to consumers that cost between $70 and $80 a month for 3GB to 5GB entry packages.
It says according to large industry providers, for ten dollars more, consumers get 50GB packages or free broadband up to a cap of 5GB per month with a phone line.
“Using the Internet to shop, look for places to visit, or even watch their favourite TV shows is becoming a part of everyday life for Kiwis,” says Mr Hill.
Industry commentator Geekzone says the launch of streaming movie service QuickFlix in March this year also provided more online content for New Zealanders.
Fibre optic cabling, an ultra-fast method of connecting to the internet, while still used by less than 1% of subscribers, saw the largest percentage increase compared to other ways of connecting.
It increased by 46% from 2011, while fixed wireless connections decreased by 3%, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Technology industry worker Kevin Sears says his personal internet use has increased somewhat over the years, but he hasn’t extended his internet data cap to over 20GB.
Given that many countries overseas have no data cap, Mr Sears says that New Zealand’s geographical isolation can be frustrating.
“I hate that our service is capped. It’s basically the service providers adding in their profit.”
He says deals for broadband have improved recently, but doesn’t feel his own household uses enough data to justify upgrading his service.
“I use the internet mostly for emailing and social media, and the occasional bit of downloading files.”
He says he finds the current broadband speed to be generally adequate, but suggests there is still room for improvement.
“I don’t think that in terms of broadband speed we’re worlds behind, but it’s not spectacular either.”
Statistics NZ figures show the total number of broadband subscribers in New Zealand rose by 11% since last year, to over 1.5 million households.