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Broadband deals still better over the ditch

Yahoo! New Zealand Business

Broadband deals in New Zealand are improving but our Aussie cousins have it much better a new study has found.

Australian research company Market Clarity looked at the fixed-line broadband plans of five NZ and six Aussie internet service providers and found that while value for money grew in both countries, Kiwi broadband users have historically paid higher prices than Aussie customers.

Unless Kiwis chose to fork out for premium broadband packages with high monthly data caps, the study found a worsening "value gap" in median prices between the countries.

"From 2010-11 the median price in Australia went from A$1.12 to 37 cents a gigabyte, and in New Zealand from A$4.60 to $2.17 — meaning New Zealanders paid 4.1 times as much as Australians per GB in 2010 and 5.8 times as much per GB in 2011," the report found.

Market Clarity chief executive Shara Evans said New Zealanders have some grounds to complain.

"While plan prices were broadly in line with ... Australia, plan allowances have been much lower in New Zealand," she told BusinessDay.

New Zealand's largest monthly data allowance in 2010 was 120GB, but Australia had been offering similar-sized plans since 2006. Unlimited data allowances have been introduced in NZ this year to rival Australia's 1.1 terabyte maximum data allowance.

"Customers of `budget' plans in New Zealand still fare poorly compared to customers in Australia," she said.

However the study notes that increased competition in the NZ broadband market has led to aggressive pricing from some tier two internet providers.

"The best value is available only to those users willing to pay relatively high monthly subscription fees," the report found.

A five gigabyte monthly data allowance plan with Telecom is priced at $46, while a 20 gigabyte plan is $56.

The study suggests Kiwis could get a better broadband deal by purchasing a 'bundle' of services off a provider which can include home telephone, broadband, and even Sky TV for one monthly fee.

Do you think we are getting a raw deal on broadband internet in New Zealand? Which ISP do you use and how much do you pay each month?