Thursday, 15 November 2018 05:42

Kiwis to get cheaper gigabit as Australians make do with 50Mbps Featured

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Kiwis to get cheaper gigabit as Australians make do with 50Mbps Pixabay

As Australians continue to make do with a half-baked broadband service, New Zealand has indicated that it would be reducing prices for its ultra-fast broadband services as it announced that half a million had taken up the service.

A statement from broadband builder and provider Chorus said that 100,000 consumers had connected to the gigabit service in the last six months and pointed out that the first 100,000 had taken five years to sign up.

By sharp comparison, in Australia, a recent Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report says that more than half of the 4.5 million who are connected to the national broadband network are on speeds of 50Mbps or better.

Most Australian ISPs do not offer anything more than 100Mbps over the NBN as the majority of premises do not have fibre to the premises. Only one ISP, Launtel, in Tasmania offers gigabit service in that state while another small provider, MyRepublic, has about 100 gigabit subscribers in NSW.

In the past, former NBN chief executive Bill Morrow has said that the New Zealand broadband rollout cannot be compared to that in Australia because of the difference in the delivery model: the main telco in New Zealand, Telecom NZ, had been split into retail (Spark) and wholesale (Chorus) arms.

chorus broadband

Chorus said it would cut the price for its residential gigabit service from NZ$65 (A$61) to NZ$60 (A$56) by mid-2019 and reduce it further to NZ$56 by mid-2020.

“The demand for fibre broadband has been rapidly increasing and even more so now as more content moves online and New Zealanders prepare to live stream the Rugby World Cup and other sporting events in 2019,” Chorus chief executive Kate McKenzie said.

“And there’s no sign of demand for fibre slowing down. As Chorus crosses the country laying fibre, more Kiwis can, and are, taking advantage of faster, more reliable broadband connections.

“New Zealanders are downloading, streaming high-definition TV and gaming at a huge rate and the likely impact of online TV will continue to be felt in peak network traffic growth. As more content becomes available online, new devices are released to watch it on with higher video resolutions such as 4K (and soon 8K).

“What these numbers are overwhelmingly telling us is that as a nation our average data use is growing fast, and it will continue to grow faster in the coming years so being on the best available fibre connection is vital.”

Graphic: courtesy Chorus

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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