The Commerce Commission’s Annual Telecommunications Monitoring Report says fibre overtook copper as New Zealand’s connection technology in the year to September 2019.

By the end of September 880,000 premises were connected to the fibre network. There were 581,000 copper connections. Fibre connections were up 31 percent on the year earlier. Copper connections were down 23 percent.

Fixed wireless broadband connections also climbed during the year. In September 2019 fixed wireless was up 14 percent; a total of 188,000 connections.

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale says; “New Zealanders are increasingly moving to the fibre broadband network. This trend is set to continue with nearly three-quarters of a million homes and businesses yet to switch in areas where fibre is available to be connected”.

Elsewhere the report notes New Zealand’s mobile plans remain competitive by international standards.

Gale says; “New Zealand’s mobile plan prices are below the OECD average for all plan types we measure. For instance, a medium use plan of 100 calls and 2GB of data costs $28, 24 percent below the international average”.

The Commerce Commission also looks at telco market share. It notes smaller companies are growing their share of fixed broadband at the expense of the big names.

He says; “Increased competition in the market is good for consumers. In the past year we’ve seen encouraging signs with small retailers like MyRepublic and Stuff Fibre growing their market shares. Overall, smaller retailers’ market share grew from 8 percent to 11 percent in 2019, with customers largely being wooed over from Spark and Vodafone.”