Research shows New Zealanders support faster rural Internet

New research reveals that New Zealanders want faster home Internet, and are ready to move on from old-fashioned copper connections.

The survey by UMR Research, commissioned by InternetNZ, investigated how New Zealanders use home Internet connections, and how they expect that use to change in the next three years.

“The findings show a clear demand for faster home Internet nationwide. Support for faster connections in rural New Zealand is particularly strong,” says InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter.

Overall, 74% of respondents did not agree that copper-based connections are good enough for rural users. 61% said it was not fair that many rural users have to put up with copper Internet connections which tend to be slower and less reliable than more modern options.

Currently, remote and rural users can face limited choices for Internet service, with old copper line infrastructure being the only option for many. The future of these copper lines is a key issue in the Government’s current review of telecommunications regulation.

“Though highest in rural areas, there is strong demand for faster Internet throughout New Zealand”, says Carter.

“75% of respondents confirmed they are likely to want faster home broadband in three years’ time.

“Network builders and retail service providers can expect trends for increasing Internet use to continue. 65% of respondents said their household uses the Internet more compared to three years ago. That included 44% using the Internet ‘a lot more.’

“This increasing use may be reflected in the takeup of faster UFB fibre services. 32% of respondents said they had a UFB fibre connection at home.

A key result was the demand for faster services in rural areas. 80% of rural respondents were likely to want a faster connection in three years’ time. This is crucial information for the Government, as it works to future proof regulation of New Zealand’s Internet infrastructure, and allow for a shift away from copper services.

“What the survey is showing us is that New Zealanders are ready to move on from the copper Internet era,” Carter says.


InternetNZ commissioned the survey by UMR Research to find out what New Zealanders want from their Internet service now and in the future.

This comes as the government is currently consulting on the Telecommunications Act Review. InternetNZ lodged a submission regarding the review and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are expected to release all submissions to the public tomorrow on Friday 24 March.

Below are links to the full research findings and our submission on the Telecommunications Review.