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

About the Internet Service Provider Survey

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) Survey collects information on businesses that provide Internet access to individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations in New Zealand. This information allows us to measure the global connectivity of New Zealanders, which is an important factor in economic growth and social well-being. Measuring New Zealand's global connectivity will help individuals, communities, businesses, and government understand the role of information and communication technology in the economy and society. 

Further definitions

Active connection: connection that has been used to connect to the Internet within the last 90 days.

ANZSIC06: Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006, the system used to classify and categorise all businesses on the Statistics NZ Business Frame. See data quality for the specific codes used to classify Internet Service Provider Survey data.

Botnets: collection of compromised computers that, although their owners are unaware of it, have been set up to forward transmissions (including spam or viruses) to other computers on the Internet.

Broadband: technologies that provide an ‘always on’ service. These include digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, fibre optic, satellite, cellular, and fixed wireless.

Business Register: a register of all economically significant businesses operating in New Zealand.

Connection: connection provided through an Internet service provider enabling access to the Internet. Active connections are those that were used to access the Internet within the last 90 days. Under this definition, the following inclusions and exclusions are made.


  • all connections providing access to the Internet through an ISP
  • all dial-up and broadband connections
  • free or discounted connections offered for staff
  • free or discounted connections offered for customers.


  • web-hosting-only subscribers
  • email-only subscribers.

Note: Customers, residential or business, may have more than one Internet or mobile phone connection.

Data cap: method employed by ISPs to limit the volume of data downloaded and/or uploaded by subscribers during a fixed period, normally a month. Once subscribers reach the cap, lower speed or extra access charges may apply. Also referred to as a data allowance.

Data card: card that contains data or that is used for data operations (eg Vodafone 3G card or Telecom Aircard).

Dial-up connection: connection to the Internet via a dial-up modem that uses the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Includes integrated services digital network (ISDN) and analogue connections.

Dongle: device connected to a computer to allow access to wireless broadband or use of protected software.

DSL: technology that allows high-speed transmission of data, audio, and video over standard telephone lines; a form of broadband transmission. This can include the following types:

  • ADSL: asymmetric digital subscriber line is a type of DSL technology for transmitting digital information at a high bandwidth on existing copper telephone lines. It simultaneously accommodates analogue information on the same line so voice calls can be made while using the Internet. It is asymmetric in the sense that it uses most of the channel to transmit downstream to the user and only a small part to receive information from the user.
  • ADSL2+: an extension to ADSL broadband technology that provides subscribers with significantly faster download speeds when compared with traditional ADSL connections.
  • SHDSL: single-pair (symmetrical) high-speed DSL is a form of DSL designed to transport data across a single copper pair. SHDSL technology can transport data symmetrically so users can get the same rate of transmission for both upstream and downstream data.
  • VDSL: very-high bit-rate DSL is the fastest available form of DSL. It is an improved version of ADSL which was developed to support the high bandwidth requirements of HDTV, media streaming, and VoIP connections.

Economically significant enterprises: enterprises that produce goods and services in New Zealand. They must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • has greater than $30,000 annual GST expenses or sales
  • 12-month rolling mean employee count of greater than three
  • is part of a group of enterprises
  • is registered for GST and involved in agriculture or forestry
  • over $40,000 of income recorded in the IR10 annual tax return (this includes some businesses in residential property leasing and rental).

Enterprise: a business operating in New Zealand. It can be a company, partnership, trust, estate, incorporated society, producer board, local or central government, voluntary organisation, or self-employed individual.

Gigabyte (GB): a measure of the volume of data. Gigabyte represents a data unit of one billion bytes.

Internet protocol (IP): system for assigning a unique identifier to all devices connected to the Internet. Each device is assigned, and can be identified by, a unique address. This address is made up of a series of numbers (similar to a phone number).

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6): the next generation Internet Protocol, which greatly expands the IP number space and is the approved standard to replace IPv4.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): businesses that supply Internet connections to individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations. We breakdown the results of the Internet Service Providers Survey by size of provider. There are five sizes based on the number of connections:

  • very small: 1–100 Internet connections
  • small: 101–1,000 Internet connections 
  • medium: 1,001–10,000 Internet connections
  • large: 10,001–100,000 Internet connections
  • very large: 100,001 or more Internet connections.

Mbps and kbps: measures of download and upload speed. Mbps stands for megabits per second (1,000,000 bits per second) and kbps stands for kilobits per second (1,000 bits per second).

Mobile phone connection: Internet connection via a mobile phone. For pre-paid plans with no monthly subscription, the connection is active if it was used to connect to the Internet within the last 90 days. Connections with recurring fees for services including data are included as active, regardless of actual use.

Pharming: hacker’s attack aiming to redirect a website’s traffic to another, bogus website. Pharming can be conducted either by changing the host’s file on a victim’s computer or by exploitation of a vulnerability in DNS server software. 

Phishing: way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication, such as fraudulent emails.

Rolling mean employment (RME): 12-month moving average of the monthly employee count (EC) figure. The EC is obtained from taxation data.

Terabyte (TB): multiple of the unit byte for digital information. Terabyte represents a data unit of 1,024 gigabytes or 1 trillion bytes.

Theoretical maximum speed: also referred to as the 'design speed'. The maximum possible upload and download speeds an ISP allows on a connection in ideal conditions.

Trojans: software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user before running or installing, but (perhaps in addition to the expected function) steals information or harms the system.

USB modem: Universal serial bus modem. A small portable device that functions as a modem and plugs into a laptop or desktop computer allowing Internet connectivity.

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