Foreigner’s view on internet access in NZ

I was reading Jon Udell’s latest post this morning who is was in NZ on a speaking engagement as keynote speaker at the Govis conference. He praises the beautiful scenery here, especially the drive down the West Coast from Picton to Greymouth, then crossing Arthurs Pass to Christchurch, which Deb and I did a few years back.

He doesn’t have such good praise for the internet access here though, mentioning his bad experience with wireless access in Christchurch:

This card has only one purpose in life — to reveal a string of hex digits — and it cannot even manage to do that.

Wellington actually has really good wireless access as we’ve got a choice between CityLink’s CafeNet, or Telecom’s wireless hotspots. It’s not cheap though and because of this I only ever use it for occasional access.

He also comments on the number of internet cafes prevalent here, which I find interesting too. I often see internet cafes full as I walk past them in town and there’s always an interesting mix of people in them, from students and backpackers to adults and senior citizens. Does this mean broadband pricing is still too steep in NZ that people still are required to pop down to their local internet cafe to check their email. I know several people who are still on dial-up plans because they can’t afford broadband, which is frustrating because just a few years ago NZ was among the world leaders in internet penetration in homes.

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