Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Zealand's broadband abysmal

I sometimes wonder why so much publicity is given to the statistics on the conversion of New Zealand internet users from dial-up to broadband.

As a former dial-up subscriber who switched to broadband a couple of years ago, I can vouch for the improvement. But if you asked me how much better broadband is than dial-up in New Zealand, I would have to say "Not a great deal".

Broadband is still slow, though not, of course, as agonizingly slow as dial-up was. I am still unable to watch a full-length documentary without waiting for an hour or more for the thing to download. Even watching a short news clip severely taxes my patience.

Anyway, figures released yesterday show that the number of broadband subscribers in New Zealand rose from 683,500 to 757,100 in the six months to December 2007, which places this country in the 19th position in the list of 30 OECD countries.

But when, oh when, are we going to get the promised high-speed fiber-optic-delivered broadband?

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