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New Zealand tops OECD fibre broadband subscription growth

New Zealand has topped an OECD report in fibre-based broadband uptake growth, with the country seeing a 272 percent surge in new fibre subscriptions for the year ending June 2014.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

New Zealand has topped the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in fibre broadband uptake, seeing a 272 percent increase in fibre broadband connection growth for the year ending June 2014, almost double the rate of increase of Luxembourg, which came second, with 139 percent.

By comparison, Australia came in sixth, after Canada, Spain, and Chile, with an annual growth rate in fibre broadband connection of 77 percent, according to the OECD.

The OECD, which has tallied up the broadband growth among its 34 member countries, revealed in its latest report that mobile broadband penetration has risen to 78 percent within its catchment area. This equates to just over three wireless subscriptions for every four inhabitants, according to data for June 2014 released on Friday.

Mobile broadband subscriptions in the OECD were up 11.9 percent from the previous year to a total of 983 million, driven by the growing use of smartphones and tablets.

(Image: OECD)

Seven countries, including Australia, Finland, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Korea, and the United States, now lie above the 100 percent penetration threshold for mobile broadband.

Meanwhile, fixed-line broadband subscriptions in the OECD area reached 344.6 million as of June 2014, up from 332 million in June 2013 and making an average penetration of 27.4 percent.

DSL remains the prevalent technology, making up 51.5 percent of fixed broadband subscriptions, but it continues to be gradually replaced by fibre, which now accounts for 17 percent of subscriptions. Cable made up most of the rest, with 31.4 percent.

New Zealand saw 31.2 per 100 people, or just under 1.4 million, with a fixed broadband subscription. Australia claimed 26.9 per 100 inhabitants, equating to just over 6.2 million people, with a broadband subscription. The OECD average was 27.4 per 100.

Australia had one of the top rates of mobile broadband subscriptions, coming in third after Finland and Japan. Australia had over 26.6 million mobile wireless broadband subscriptions -- the country's population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is just under 23.8 million.

New Zealand came in ninth, seeing 95.5 per 100 people with a mobile broadband subscription, or just over 4.2 million subscriptions out of a population of just under 4.5 million.

Australia saw a 6.5 percent increase in fixed broadband penetration between June 2013 and June 2014, while New Zealand recorded a 5.4 percent increase in fixed broadband penetration for the same period.

Luxembourg, Chile, and Switzerland claimed the top three positions in fixed-line broadband penetration increase.

According to the OECD figures, as of June 2014, Australia had over 6.2 million fixed broadband subscribers, while New Zealand claimed 1.4 million.

According to the figures, Australia holds the second position after Finland in wireless broadband penetration over the past 10 years.

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