Open access fiber drives down consumer broadband prices in New Zealand

21 March 2018 by Steve Blum
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A national project to build fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure and offer it to any Internet service provider on a wholesale basis began in New Zealand in 2011, with an initial goal of reaching 75% of Kiwi homes and businesses. According to a study done by International Data Corporation, a research firm, and sponsored by Spark, the biggest NZ reseller of FTTP service, the build out has reached about 65% of NZ premises, and the goal is now to reach 87% by 2022.… More

The only loony thing about Google's Project Loon might be the name

17 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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Driven by computing power, not Newton or newtons.

New Zealand’s Canterbury Plain is hosting Google’s latest idea-that’s-so-goofy-it-might-work, appropriately named Project Loon. Thirty high altitude balloons carrying data relay equipment were released to drift over Christchurch, generally heading east towards the telecoms starved Chatham Islands. The concept Google is testing is to put enough balloons into the air to create a fleet of atmospheric satellites that can talk to each other and to the ground, and relay Internet service to hard to reach places.… More

Asia leads in Internet speed and disruption

11 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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Asia-Pacific 4th quarter 2012

Asian countries hit the top of the charts in the latest “State of the Internet” rankings released by content delivery network pioneer Akamai. The numbers for the last quarter of 2012 rank Korea, Japan and Hong Kong 1-2-3 in terms of average broadband download speed, with scores of 14.0, 10.8 and 9.3 Mbps respectively.

Before the hand-wringing over the U.S. not being number one starts, consider that 1. it does pretty well coming in at eighth place with average broadband download rate of 7.4 Mbps and 2.… More

New hope for New Zealand telecoms competition

18 February 2013 by Steve Blum
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Fortunately, there are better ways to spend your time in New Zealand.

New Zealand is a relatively costly place to do Internet-related business. There’s only one underseas cable linking it to the outside world, the Southern Cross, which goes from Australia to California via New Zealand.

That’s two paths in and out of the country, but one owner. It’s not a competitive market. According to Market Clarity, an Australian telecoms research company, Kiwis pay 5.8 times more than Aussies for a gigabyte .… More

New Zealand mobile broadband still easy and affordable

20 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. Why spend time on the Internet?

I’ve been doing my annual check on New Zealand’s mobile telecoms, from a traveler’s perspective. Coverage appears to be much the same. Some prices have gone up and some down.

Vodafone and Telecom NZ both deliver 3G service pretty much everywhere I go, in both North and South Islands. I haven’t seen any change from last year in 2degrees’ coverage, which seems to focus on urban areas and not so much in the countryside, where I’ve been spending most of my time this trip.… More

3G networks reach deep into Australia and New Zealand

Travelling through New Zealand and Australia with a smart phone or iPad is painless and relatively inexpensive for a traveller. Three national mobile networks – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – cover Australia. Optus also markets service under the Virgin Mobile brand. In New Zealand, it’s Telecom NZ and Vodafone, with newcomer 2degrees building out its network.

My assessment of actual coverage is subjective. I used Vodafone in both countries, and Telstra in Australia. Vodafone NZ and Telstra do a very good job of covering the areas I visited: long swathes of both North and South Islands in New Zealand, and Melbourne, Adelaide and the countryside in between in Australia.… More

Sony netbook, sorry, Lifestyle PC

Here’s what it looks like…

Sony netbook, sorry, Lifestyle PC. 20 cm screen, 600 grams. WiFi, Bluetooth. Verizon 3G data in the U.S., T-Mobile and Vodafone in Europe. Nothing in New Zealand or Australia. Sorry, mate.

Sony also has a “Webbie” cam. HD video, $170 when it hits the market in March. There’s a $200 version available now, but not as cute.

Live from CES Press Day, 7 January 2009

Last to first, real time tweets from Las Vegas…

  • Bill Gates is the UrGeek. Love or hate him, he’s an original with historic scope. Heroic in classical sense. Ballmer…
  • Listening to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. Microsoft will rule the world. Honest.
  • Sony shows great respect for mobile telecom carriers. Has WiFi Walkman in pipeline, but no 3/4G product that would cause consternation for Sony Ericsson’s mobile carrier customers.
  • Sony sez not in negotiations for NZ/Australia mobile carrier deals for netbook, sorry Lifestyle PC, but GSM deals in Europe are locked.