Date: 11/05/04 09:11:57
Subject: FIGURES SHOW IT REALLY IS THE ?YEAR OF BROADBAND?
FIGURES SHOW IT REALLY IS THE YEAR OF BROADBAND
New Zealanders have been connecting to broadband in record numbers since
the introduction of new high-speed, flat-rate plans last month.
Broadband has been selling at an unprecedented rate, Telecom Chief
Executive Theresa Gattung said today.
The new Xtra JetStream range includes plans that run on 1Mbps and 2Mbps
with no extra charge for going over the usage caps.
JetStream sales are growing rapidly. Weve been signing up around 800 new
broadband customers a day and last weekend was our best weekend yet, six
times higher than the weekend average over the last six months.
Were well on track to reach the target of broadband in 250,000 Kiwi
households by the end of 2005, Ms Gattung said.
Figures released today showed that as at 30 September 2004, before the new
plans were available, Telecom had 98,000 residential customers on
JetStream double the number of a year earlier.
With business connections added, Telecom had 139,000 JetStream connections
at 30 September 2004.
Telecom today delivered the first of its quarterly broadband reports to
the Commerce Commission. The report excludes customers on 128kbps plans
and on that basis Telecom reported 74,500 residential customers and 41,000
business customers on broadband.
Ms Gattung said the number of customers on 128kbps plans fell by 13,000 to
24,000 over the year as customers switched to higher-speed broadband
plans. Telecom is on a programme to switch all those customers to
higher-speed plans in coming months.
Were excited that broadband is starting to take off in New Zealand. In
some parts of the country such as Auckland, more than 10% of households
now have broadband. It is also great to see similar levels of uptake
occurring in some of the provincial centres such as Queenstown, Wanaka and
If you look at the experience of other innovations such as pay TV or
DVDs, thats the point where a service moves from a minority interest to a
must have in the mass market.
With the cost of switching from dial-up to high-speed broadband now just
the equivalent of three cups of coffee a month, its easy to see why so
many families are getting into it.
As broadband is now moving into that stage, were exploring extra value
we can add such as making more education content available on line.
We want to work with the Government and others to develop those services.
Project PROBE has shown that co-operation can really bring results.
PROBE was all about the Government working with suppliers to deliver
broadband to schools and their communities, particularly in rural New
Zealand. Were about to pass some important milestones in our PROBE
regions which mean that, along with the work that others have been doing,
the vast majority of New Zealand schoolchildren will start the 2005 school
year within reach of broadband.
More than half of all secondary schools are on broadband, and more than
100,000 students are benefiting from our managed, secure Internet and
video-conferencing service, SchoolZone.
Theres a revolution going on in New Zealand schools and were excited to
be part of it.
Ms Gattung said Telecom has always believed wholesale would be a
significant part of broadbands growth story in New Zealand.
Im pleased to say we have overcome the technical difficulties we
encountered with the Unbundled BitStream Service. UBS will now be
available for other ISPs to develop their own broadband plans from 8
November, allowing ISPs to switch over from the interim UBS plan weve had
We regret the problem we encountered with UBS because, as with the
wholesaling of residential and business services, we want to demonstrate
that were committed to the success of the regime.
Weve made public commitments to launch higher speed UBS plans early in
2005. And its important to note that all our JetStream plans are
available to other ISPs on a resale and wholesale basis.
Ms Gattung said it was very pleasing that the Commerce Commission has
confirmed it is satisfied that Telecom is meeting its commitment to offer
Unbundled Partial Circuits (UPC) which allows other carriers to deliver
high-end data services to their customers using Telecoms network.