New Zealand has a wide range of internet connection types and internet service providers. The average internet connection speed in New Zealand is over 80 mbps, and New Zealand ranks as the country with the 23rd fastest average internet speed. The Southern Cross Cable provides New Zealand with most of its internet service. It connects New Zealand to Australia from the west and California via Hawaii to the east. 97.8% of New Zealanders have access to at least one type of broadband internet.
Fibre is the fastest internet available in New Zealand. About 75% of Kiwis have access to fibre internet in 2019. New Zealand’s goal is to by the end of 2022 to have 87% of New Zealanders, in over 390 towns, with access to fibre internet with an upload speed of at least 50 mbps and a download speed of 100 mbps. Through the end of 2019, you can get fibre installed for free if you are within 200 meters of a connection point.
New Zealand has a minimal cable network. Most of the cable network is in Wellington, Christchurch, and Kapiti. Most of those areas also have access to fibre.
DSL service is broadband internet that uses copper wire. New Zealand differentiates between two types of DSL, VDSL, and ADSL
- Access requires less than 1km distance from a service cabinet
- Not all cabinets are VDSL enabled
- You get the maximum speed the equipment allows, there is no throttling
- Access requires less than 6km from a service cabinet
- All cabinets are ADSL enabled
- You get the maximum speed the hardware allows, there is no throttling
Fixed wireless uses radio waves and requires line of sight to the broadcasting tower. It does not work well if there are tall buildings or a lot of trees. Fixed wireless allows for internet access to rural properties that are more than 6km from a cabinet. It also provides speeds that are faster than ADSL and can be faster than some VDSL connections.
Satellite is the most expensive and one of the slowest options for internet access in New Zealand. It is also the only internet option for about 2% of New Zealand. Some satellite connections allow for speeds up to 25 mbps, but there tends to be high latency which makes it unsuitable for online gaming.
Dialup access is being phased out of New Zealand, and almost all places that have dialup access have other internet service options available. Cellular using the 3g and 4g network is an option in many areas. Nearly all places that have a usable 3g or 4g signal have faster internet options available.
New Zealand has an internet coverage map that shows your internet options. You can input your exact address at the top of the screen, and it will tell you all of your coverage options. Wireless availability can vary depending on line-of-sight in your specific location.
New Zealand has over 100 internet service providers (ISP). Some companies are dedicated service providers, but many provide broadband service and at least one other utility like electric or mobile phone service. If you have multiple services, it is often cheaper to bundle them together. There are too many ISPs to list them all. The ISPs do not provide the actual network cables but allow access to them. I have found that the internet service you receive does not vary significantly depending on your ISP. The customer service and additional benefits, like including a router, can vary a lot depending on the company.
Broadband Compare is a website that lists many of the ISPs and will show you the offers available for your address. They do receive a commission if you book an ISP through them. They do not have every ISP, but they include many of them.
What is your experience with New Zealand internet service? Check out our cellphone guide and insurance guide.