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A range of broadband technologies to suit different needs and locations

Understand the difference between copper, ADSL, VDSL, cable and fibre connections and learn about other technologies for accessing the internet.


Types of broadband available in New Zealand

What type of user are you?

When selecting a broadband plan, consider which category your usage falls into, taking in to account your future usage needs.

Heavy use

Email, web browsing, social media and more frequent media streaming, larger file uploads and downloading in addition to multiple device usage.

Medium use

Email, webs browsing, social media, media streaming, gaming and file downloading.

Light use

Email, web browsing, social media.

Fibre (UFB) - heavy use


Fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cable to deliver 'ultra-fast broadband' (UFB) to New Zealand.

Fibre cable delivers broadband speeds up to 20 times faster than the copper network.With fibre you can use multiple devices at the same time without any loss of quality or buffering.Unlike copper lines, fibre performance doesn’t degrade over distance.This means that no matter how near or far you are from the exchange, the speed is consistent.


Learn more about fibre

Copper - medium to heavy use


VDSL (Very high bit rate digital subscriber line) is a newer technology which also uses copper telephone wires, but delivers a faster connection speed.It was developed to support the high bandwidth requirements of high definition TV (HDTV), streaming and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections.


ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) is widely available and used by most New Zealanders today.It uses copper telephone wires for transmitting data, audio and video at a high bandwidth.Unlike dial-up, with ADSL you can make telephone calls and use the internet simultaneously.

Copper broadband speeds

Find out the broadband speed available in your area using the National Broadband Map. Chorus also provide a ‘check your broadband connection’ service on their website.

Mobile - light to medium use

All mobile phone networks currently support 3G technology and 4G technology is also now available.

Mobile broadband can be accessed through smart phones, tablets and laptops.The speed of access is dependent on the technology used by the network and the strength of the mobile signal when it is in use.

It is best for light to medium use.

Other broadband technologies

You can also use cable, satellite and public WiFi to access the internet.


This type of broadband uses a cable installed into your home rather than telephone lines. It provides faster speeds than ADSL and VDSL.

Cable supports high bandwidth requirements. Service providers offer different packages at different speeds, depending on your requirements.

Cable is only available within the areas of Wellington, Christchurch and Kapiti. Use the National Broadband Map to check whether you can get cable at your address.



Broadband is delivered via a satellite to a dish on or near the consumer's home.It is useful in remote locations though reception can depend on weather conditions and natural obstructions such as hills. It is best for light to medium use.

Public WiFi

Public WiFi better known as hotspots are offered by a range of providers including cafes and councils. Hotspots are usually located in busy areas such as airports, train stations and other public places. Each hotspot only covers a small area. Public WiFi can be accessed through smart phones, tablets and laptops. It is best for light to medium use.

Looking for something else?

Choosing a plan

Know what to consider when choosing a broadband plan.

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Find available services

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Why switch to fibre?

How fibre broadband is changing the way we live, work and play.

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Rural Broadband

Learn about the Rural Broadband Initiative and what it means for rural communities.

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Medical alarms and other phone services

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Last Modified On Friday, 30 September 2016