Posted on: 14.10.14

Holes in broadband affordability study point

Northland based broadband provider Uber Group says it is disappointed that the recently released study into broadband affordability in New Zealand has left out a major chunk of ISPs, and that means the results will be skewed.

“We’re not sure how or why this has happened, because the study has been done by an author we respect and is partly funded by Internet New Zealand. But the reality is that fixed wireless broadband has been completely missed from the study nationwide, yet it services a significant number of customers whose broadband is nowhere near as expensive as the study indicates,” says Uber Managing Director Hayden Simon.

“We can speak accurately about Northland, where Uber has been providing rural fixed wireless broadband for over ten years. Many of the red dots on the Northland map in the study are listed as places where satellite broadband is the only option and a 26 Gb plan will cost $435 per month. But we know those red dots – many are Uber customers! And across our entire network the average monthly cost for a broadband and phone package including local calling, is $77 per month including GST. We even have some people on legacy plans at around $45 per month. The huge gulf between these figures and the numbers provided in the study gives serious cause for concern and anyone relying on those numbers should, we believe, do their own research.

“Uber’s story is replicated around the country. A group of fixed wireless providers, of which Uber is one, recently banded together to form the NZ Wireless Internet Providers Association (NZWIP). We are still compiling statistics but have conservatively estimated that we cover 80,000 households.

“We would like to know why the fixed wireless providers have been left out, and whether a follow up study can be done which includes the missing data.

“On a lighter note the Herald story has created quite some confusion among our customers, who are phoning us to ask why we are not mentioned and telling us how pleased they are that we’re here. And I suspect that’s happening all around the country.”