NZ lags behind in broadband uptake: study

NZ lags behind in broadband uptake: study

NEW Zealand's broadband uptake rate compared with other countries has again been slammed, this time by UK-based broadband analyst Point Topic.

The broadband growth index ranks 35 countries from around the world and puts New Zealand's broadband growth rate at 40%. New Zealand is ranked third lowest just ahead of the Czech Republic and Latvia. At the end of 2002, only 1.74 New Zealanders per 100 are users of broadband services, says the report.

More damagingly, the report also lists countries by broadband penetration levels -- South Korea has one of the lowest rates of growth because it has the highest level of penetration, indicating broadband usage is at saturation point.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has one of the lowest growth rates and one of the lowest levels of broadband penetration in the world.

Telecommunications Users Association (Tuanz) chief executive Ernie Newman says he's not surprised.

"It really just points to the need for competition if we want either penetration rate or growth rate to increase."

Newman says Telecom has recently released some "good news figures" about the state of New Zealand's broadband market and he hopes that's the start of a trend in broadband usage.

Telecom recently announced that it had reached the 100,000 JetStream customer mark and was adding new users at a rate of 2,000 per week.

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