Media comment from InternetNZ - 50,000 free wholesale broadband connections

1 April 2020

In response to: Chorus ready to support students in households without broadband

Comments can be attributed to Jordan Carter, Chief Executive, InternetNZ.

InternetNZ is pleased to see Chorus, ISPs, and the Government working together to find solutions to increasing digital inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

It’s now more important than ever that we all work together to ensure New Zealanders have the right access, skills, motivation and trust to use the Internet.

Affordable Internet access for all New Zealanders is vital to maintaining social cohesion, sharing essential information and maintaining work and education.

We are aware of a number of timely and welcome initiatives from around the telecommunications industry, including:

  • wireless ISPs working in their community and with the Ministry of Education to get families connected;

  • Vodafone introducing unlimited data for certain time periods for rural customers on fixed wireless plans;

  • Spark partnering with Taranaki libraries to distribute Skinny Jump around the region; 

  • Forbearance from Spark, Vodafone and 2degress on late payment fees and excess data charges on many plans;

  • Chorus’ 50,000 connection contribution, announced today to unconnected families. 

COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for New Zealand and the world. But it is very pleasing to see the industry working together to close so many digital divides through this work. 

We applaud rapid action that helps make sure New Zealand families have the skills, motivation and trust to make the best use of this connectivity. All of these initiatives are very welcome.