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Internet Service Provider Survey: 2014
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  14 October 2014
Data quality

Period-specific information
This section has information about data that has changed since the last release.

General information
This section contains information about data that has not changed between releases.

Period-specific information

Population size

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) Survey is a survey sent to all New Zealand-based Internet service providers. The target population for the ISP Survey in 2014 was 84 businesses. This increased from 2013, when 74 businesses were surveyed. Such changes in the population can be explained by:

  • new businesses being created
  • existing businesses merging or ceasing
  • improved selection method. 

Not all businesses identified in the survey population ultimately report ISP activity.

Response rates

The overall target response rate for ISP 2014 was 85 percent which was achieved.

Some businesses were identified as key units if their total number of connections made significant contributions to the previous ISP survey. The target response rate for key businesses was 100 percent, and this target was achieved.

Consistency with other periods and datasets

Questionnaire changes

We made some minor changes to the 2014 ISP questionnaire. Many of the percentage-based questions were changed to count-based to reduce respondent burden and improve accuracy. We also added a new question about Voice over Internet Protocol, which will be reflected in the count of business activities. We plan to publish this information in more detail in the future. As a result of these changes, where breakdowns are not given, some table totals may not equal other table totals. We also changed some wording and formatting in order to make questions clearer for our respondents and improve the accuracy of the information gathered. 

Reference period

The survey was posted out in July 2014. The reference period was the last financial year, and all respondents had a 30 June 2014 balance date. This aligns with the reference period used by other OECD member countries and previous iterations of the ISP survey back to 2009.

Before 2009, data was collected in March and September each year. As a result of the change to the June reference date, there was a 15-month gap between the 2008 and 2009 ISP surveys.

General information 

Accuracy of the data

Target population

The target population is ‘all resident New Zealand Internet service providers’. Internet service providers (ISPs) are defined as economically significant businesses that supply Internet connectivity services to individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations in New Zealand. See definitions for more on economically significant businesses.

Internet connections via mobile phones were included for the first time in 2011. Mobile phones are used to access the Internet, and for the ISP Survey to cover all businesses that supply Internet connectivity, this change was required.

Businesses that provided other Internet services, such as web and domain hosting, but that did not provide ISP services, were excluded from the population. This is because the primary activity of an ISP is providing a connection to the Internet. Web-hosting units do not meet this condition, but rather, provide Internet-based services.

Businesses that provide only occasional or unmetered access (including Internet cafes, kiosks, libraries, and universities) are also excluded. The activity of this group is covered by the ISP each business subscribes to, and so do not need to be surveyed separately.  

Survey population

The population is defined in terms of the ANZSIC06 classification system. No changes were made to the population selection process this year.  It specifically included businesses in four ANZSIC06 codes:

  • ANZSIC J591000: this code classifies Internet service providers and web search portals. It includes businesses mainly engaged in providing Internet access services. Also included are businesses which provide web search portals used to search the Internet.
  • ANZSIC J580100: classifies wired telecommunications network operation. It includes businesses mainly engaged in operating, maintaining, or providing access to facilities for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Businesses primarily operate fixed (wired) telecommunications infrastructure, but may also use other technologies to deliver services.
  • ANZSIC J580200: classifies other telecommunications network operations. It includes businesses mainly engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities that provide omni-directional or point-to-point communications via wireless telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies, including communications via airwaves and through satellite systems.
  • ANZSIC M70000: classifies computer system design and related services. It includes businesses mainly engaged in providing expertise in the field of information technologies such as writing, modifying, testing, or supporting software to meet the needs of a particular consumer; or planning and designing computer systems that integrate computer hardware, software, and communication technologies.

These ANZSIC codes are used in conjunction with previous ISP survey populations, and filtered by a key word search. 

From 2005–09, lists of ISPs obtained from NetGuide and Internet NZ were used to select the population. Since 2010, the population has been sourced from the Statistics NZ Business Frame. 

Data collection

The Internet service provider survey is a postal survey of all businesses that meet the population selection criteria.

Sampling error

The ISP Survey is a census; therefore the data is not subject to sample error.

Non-sampling error

Non-sampling errors include mistakes by respondents when completing questionnaires, variation in the respondents' interpretation of the questions asked, and errors made during the processing of the data. Statistics NZ has extensive procedures to minimise this type of error, but they may still occur and are not quantifiable.  

Unit non-response

Unit non-response occurs where a business does not return the questionnaire. While weighting is commonly used in other Statistics NZ surveys, it is not applied to ISP. This is because there are no external (non-survey) variables that allow us to group businesses in a way that they are likely to provide similar survey responses, and therefore be representative of one another. To minimise the impact of unit non-response on the outputs, key respondents are targeted with 100 percent response rate targets. Therefore, we do not expect overall figures to be significantly affected by unit non-response. Data for businesses that did not respond to the survey was not imputed. 

Item non-response
Item non-response occurs where a returned questionnaire is incomplete. Where data was missing or required clarification, respondents were contacted in the first instance. If a response could not be obtained, missing data for individual questions were imputed based on historical data collected, or from related information within the questionnaire.

Consistency of terms and variables

Terms and variables can differ between datasets and over time and as a result may not be directly comparable. See definitions for the terms and variables used in this release. 

More information

More information about the Internet Service Provider Survey is available on our website.

Statistics in this release have been produced in accordance with the Official Statistics System principles and protocols for producers of Tier 1 statistics for quality. They conform to the Statistics NZ Methodological Standard for Reporting of Data Quality.


While care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication. 

Timing of published data

Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does not accept responsibility for any such delay.

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