The Commerce Commission’s annual Telecommunications Monitoring Report, released this morning, reaffirms New Zealand’s role as a world-class telecommunications market.
Broadband use continues to skyrocket following a series of lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, uptake of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network of fibre connections has grown to 1.151 million households and mobile networks continue to offer more for less, even as international roaming remains inevitably stalled.
“Customers are flocking to the new services like fibre and fixed wireless at rates not seen anywhere else in the world. The UFB reaches almost 87% of homes in the country – an astonishing figure by global standards – and customers have embraced the fixed wireless revolution with 15% of broadband connections now using this new technology,” says TCF CEO Paul Brislen.
“At the same time the number of copper connections has fallen by almost a third and competition continues to deliver great pricing and affordability for consumers.”
If anything, Brislen says, the industry’s metrics are outstripping the Commission’s reporting.
“It’s worth pointing out that many customers are now on plans that aren’t monitored by the Commission’s broadband marketing regime, or are on plans that outstrip the rest of the world, meaning they aren’t measured in the OECD data.”
The Commission’s reporting doesn’t take into account the new hyper fibre plans in the fixed line market, but also doesn’t include 5G in its monitoring of the mobile sector. And 2Degrees’ pricing is left out of the OECD comparison information, meaning the Commission’s report doesn’t reflect the reality of the New Zealand market.
“Kiwis love our unlimited data plans, yet the reports still heavily focus on those that have caps. Unlimited plans provide certainty around costs and mean we can all work or study from home and enjoy the full range of entertainment options such as streaming and interactive content,” says Brislen.
The Commission plans to review its annual reporting and the TCF encourages the Commission to make sure the report is fit for purpose for the years ahead.
The Commerce Commission’s annual telecommunications report is available here.