The latest statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) place New Zealand one spot higher than Australia for fixed-line broadband penetration 17th and 18th respectively).
Australia’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said, “The latest figures show Australia is still lagging behind world leaders in access to broadband and is further evidence that Australia has lacked vital investment in fixed-line broadband infrastructure.”
A media release from Conroy’s office specifically pointed out the fact that New Zealand now ranks higher than Australia: “This is a one place drop from Australia’s position at December 2009 and now sees New Zealand ranked ahead of us.”
Conroy is using the OECD statistics to reinforce the need for the National Broadband Network (NBN).
“If Australia wants to remain competitive in our region, and as the world moves to a 21st century digital economy, we need to act now. That’s why the Gillard Government is getting on with delivering the NBN,” he continued.
“This report is further evidence that Australia cannot afford to stand idly by with our aging copper network and sub-standard broadband services. Australians have been poorly served by the telecommunications industry’s market structure but the Gillard Government is changing this, following the passage of competition and consumer safeguards reforms through the Parliament last week.
“Through these reforms, in parallel with the rollout of the NBN across Australia, the Gillard Government is delivering access to affordable broadband services that Australians need now and importantly, will need in the future,” Conroy concluded.
Australia is far ahead of New Zealand in the wireless area though, ranking an impressive eighth in the world for wireless broadband penetration. New Zealand didn’t place in the top ten.