Communications Minister Amy Adams has welcomed the latest Akamai report showing the average download speeds in New Zealand have grown 25 percent in a year.
The Akamai State of the Internet report shows that in the first quarter of 2016, the average speed has increased to 10.5 Megabits per second (Mbps), with the number of people accessing speeds above 15 Mbps increasing 123 percent in 12 months, with 91 percent accessing speeds above 4 Mbps.
“This is a considerable improvement on the speeds New Zealanders are enjoying every day,” Adams says.
“To put these speeds into context, in 2008 the average speed was 2.7 Mbps. The latest figures from early 2016 show an almost four-time increase as New Zealanders embrace connectivity fuelled by the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative programmes.”
Adams says the latest report is a “useful international benchmark” that proves New Zealand continues to benefit from the rollout of digital infrastructure.
“But it’s worth noting that Akamai only measures traffic that is downloaded from Akamai’s servers, excluding things like Netflix,” Adams adds.
“This means the real benefits to New Zealand are much higher. The average speed on Chorus's fixed line network is 28.5 Mbps.
“Rapidly changing technology represents a huge opportunity for a country like New Zealand, with our distance from major export markets.
"Our UFB and RBI programmes are a vital part of the Government’s plan in developing a productive and competitive economy and creating more jobs for New Zealanders and their families.”
The latest statistics come as the UFB build passes hallway mark in urban cities such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and 18 regional towns around New Zealand are now fully complete.
Law changes introduced to streamline UFB rollout
Communications Minister Amy Adams also says new legislation introduced to Parliament will make it easier for people involved in shared property or apartments to connect to Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB).
“New Zealanders are hungry for better connectivity and it’s frustrating that they’re experiencing unnecessary delays or problems caused by neighbour disputes or unanswered queries,” Adams says.
According to Adams, the Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Bill will make it “simpler and quicker” for New Zealanders with shared property access to get the benefits of faster broadband wherever they live or work.”
“Around 250,000, or 17 percent, of UFB orders will need permission for access to property shared between neighbours, such as shared driveways or in apartment buildings,” Adams adds.
“This causes delays when there are problems with getting permission from neighbours. By introducing simpler consenting rules we’ll help speed up the installation of UFB to properties where consent from a neighbour is required.
“This Bill will help break some of these deadlocks and speed up the delivery of UFB to New Zealanders who are keen to keep up with the latest digital developments for their homes or businesses, while still ensuring necessary protections are in place.”
Under the changes, Adams says a tiered consent regime will provide two new categories of simplified approvals according to the impacts the fibre installation are considered to have on the property.
“Those outside these two categories will continue to require consent of all affected owners as currently occurs,” Adams explains.
In addition, Adams says the Bill will better protect homeowners through providing recourse to a disputes resolution scheme.
“In this Bill the Government has endeavoured to strike the right balance between simplifying consent requirements, while still respecting the rights of property owners,” Adams adds.
“The demand for UFB is huge with over 24,000 orders received and 16,000 connections made in April 2016 alone.
"New Zealanders fully grasp how important technology is to the future of this country and want to get better, faster broadband wherever they live, work and play.
“As one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects New Zealand has ever undertaken, the UFB programme is not a small and incremental upgrade to an existing network but rather a complete rollout of a new and innovative technology into our homes, businesses and schools and as such justifies a dedicated legislative regime to manage issues such as those dealt with in this Bill.”