ISP Spotlight: conscious consumerism comes to Internet services

A blog post from Ben Creet, Issues Manager at InternetNZ
30 June 2016 

ISP banner imageToday we launched ISP Spotlight - and boy am I proud of this product.

We're comparing New Zealand ISPs on six things that we think are important and should matter to New Zealanders when they're looking for a deal. There's much more to choosing an Internet Service Provider than looking at price or speed. InternetNZ has decoded all the technical information from New Zealand providers so that consumers can make informed, conscious decisions about who they choose to supply their Internet. Lots of us care about fair-trade coffee, chocolate and tea. And we're more likely to be conscious consumers of taxis that cover their carbon emissions. So why not our Internet providers? That's why we're doing this. The companies behind your Internet connection are real people and real organisations. The policy decisions they make, and technical infrastructure investments they make, matter to how you get online.

We want New Zealanders to know about their ISPs. Some of these back-end practices might seem technical or unimportant, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't care. The values behind these principles are about upholding human rights, protecting consumers and their privacy and making sure Internet users can make the best choices they can that fit with their beliefs and values.

Vocus, the people behind Orcon and Slingshot deserve congratulations. Their ISPs are the first to publish a coordinated disclosure policy to help improve their security, including how to communicate with them securely. Spark's brands and Vocus are also leading the way on data breach notification. It's awesome to see two of our largest ISPs leading the way on coordinated disclosure and data breach notification. Well done!

Transparency reporting is probably the area that has the least traction. However, Vodafone Global is a leader in this area and as a part of its global work Vodafone is the first ISP that is taking the steps towards detailed transparency reporting here in New Zealand. Again, this is excellent to see.

We're hoping to make Internet providers more transparent. We're hoping that this site helps to show the providers what their competitors are doing and that they might be convinced to take positive action, especially if they see that consumers care.

So please do visit, take a look around and hopefully learn some stuff. We'll be following this blog up with weekly guest blogs from experts on why these different topics matter to New Zealand so stay tuned!