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Internet Service Provider Survey: June 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  15 October 2010
Technical notes

Survey background

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) Survey provides information on the total number and nature of subscribers who use New Zealand-based ISPs to connect either permanently or regularly to the Internet. This information allows a measurement of the global connectivity of New Zealanders, which is regarded as an important determinant in accelerating economic growth and social wellbeing. This survey provides a core set of official statistics on Internet service provision. This will help individuals, communities, businesses, and government understand the role of information and communication technology in the economy and society.

Reference period

The reference period for this survey is 30 June 2010, which aligns with the reference period used by other OECD countries. Before 2009, data was collected in March and September each year. As a result of the change to the June reference date, there is a 15-month gap between the 2008 and 2009 ISP Surveys.

Data collection

The Internet Service Provider Survey: June 2010 was a postal survey of all organisations meeting the population selection criteria.

No financial information was requested from respondents. The survey was posted out in July 2010.

Target population

The target population was defined as: 'All resident New Zealand Internet service providers', where Internet service providers were defined as economically significant businesses that supply permanent or regular Internet connectivity services to individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations in New Zealand.

A business is considered economically significant if it is found on the Statistics NZ Business Frame and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • has greater than $30,000 annual GST expenses or sales
  • had more than two employees over the last year
  • is in a GST-exempt industry (except for residential property leasing and rental)
  • is part of a group of enterprises.

Survey population

June 2010 was the second publication of the ISP survey using a new population selection method. Previous ISP surveys were supplemented using industry lists rather than a keyword search. The lists are no longer available. The impact of this change has been analysed and is negligible.

The 2010 survey population was based on the 2009 survey population. Enterprises were added to the survey population by targeting one Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 codes on the Statistics NZ Business Frame, supplemented by a key word search of three ANZSIC06 codes.

The majority of the ISP population is found in the following ANZSIC 2006 codes. Since not all ANZSIC codes are searched it is possible some ISPs may be missed. However, we expect this activity to be minimal, given analysis of past populations when lists were available.

All units classified on the Statistics NZ Business Frame to ANZSIC06 J5910 were included in the survey.

J5910 Internet service providers and web search portals

Units mainly engaged in providing Internet access services. Also included are units which provide web search portals used to search the Internet.

A keyword search was used on the Statistics NZ Business Frame to find ISPs from the following three ANZSIC06 codes.

J5801 Wired telecommunications network operation

Units mainly engaged in operating, maintaining, or providing access to facilities for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Units primarily operate fixed (wired) telecommunications infrastructure, but may also utilise other types of technologies in order to deliver services.

J5802 Other telecommunications network operations

Units 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.

M7000 Computer system design and related services

Units 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.


Enterprises that provided other Internet services such as web and domain hosting, but who did not provide ISP services, were excluded from the population. This was because the above enterprises were not strictly classified as ISPs. Web-hosting units do not interact directly with the public. Since the public access their website through an ISP, their activity was already covered by the survey. Including them would have resulted in double counting.

Businesses that provided occasional or unmetered access (including Internet cafes, kiosks, libraries, and universities) were also excluded. The activity of this group was covered by the ISP each subscribed to, so they did not need to be surveyed separately.

Connections to the Internet via mobile phone were also excluded as this is neither a permanent nor regular Internet connection, and thus is beyond the scope of this survey. However, mobile (cellular) data card-only subscriptions to the Internet are included.

Response rate

The target response rate for the Internet Service Provider Survey: June 2010 was 85 percent for units in the population list, with 100 percent collection required of identified key respondents. The actual overall response rate achieved was 89 percent overall and 100 percent for key respondents. The ISP population in New Zealand is made up of a few large enterprises (by number of subscribers), and many smaller enterprises. Therefore the 89 percent response rate achieved represents an estimated 99.95 percent coverage of subscribers.

The population for the survey was 63 enterprises.


Where data was missing or required clarification, respondents were contacted in the first instance. When necessary, missing data for individual questions was imputed based on historical data collected. Data for enterprises who did not respond to the survey was not imputed for.

Reliability of the data

Given that the Internet Service Provider Survey: June 2010 is a census rather than a sample, the data is not subject to sample variability. However, other inaccuracies, such as non-sampling errors, may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from sources such as:

  • errors in the reporting of data by respondents
  • errors in capturing or processing of data
  • lack of imputation for missing or misreported data
  • definition and classification errors.

Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and thorough testing of questionnaires, efficient operating systems and procedures, and appropriate methodology.


Active subscriber

This is a customer who within the last 90 days has accessed the Internet or paid for access to the Internet through an ISP. Under this definition, the following inclusions and exclusions are made:

  • all subscribers who obtain access to the Internet through an ISP
  • both dialup and non-dialup connection subscribers.
  • web-hosting-only subscribers
  • email-only subscribers
  • connections to the Internet via mobile phone.

Business frame

A register maintained by Statistics NZ of all economically significant businesses operating in New Zealand.

Broadband (non dial-up)

For the purpose of this survey, broadband is defined as those technologies that provide an ‘always on’ service. It includes digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, fibre optic, satellite, cellular, and fixed wireless.

Dial-up connection

Connection to the internet via a dial-up modem and software utilising the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It includes integrated services digital network (ISDN) and anolog connections.

Maximum data allowances

Maximum data allowances refer to the volume of data allowed during a fixed period, normally a month, before restrictions such as speed reductions or excess data charges apply. Data allowances are excluding dial-up.

Data cap

An Internet subscription data cap is a method employed by ISPs to limit the volume of data downloaded and/or uploaded by subscribers during a fixed period, normally a month. Once a fixed data cap has been reached, lower speed or extra access charges may apply. It is also referred to as a data allowance.


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

Gigabyte (GB)

A gigabyte is a measure of the volume of data. Gigabyte represents a data unit of one billion bytes.

Internet protocol (IP)

Internet Protocol (IP) is a scheme for assigning a unique identifier to all devices connected to the internet. Each device is assigned, and can be identified by, a unique address; a series of numbers (similar to a telephone number).

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

IPv6 is 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 connectivity services to individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations.

Mbps and kbps

Mbps and kbps are 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).

Rolling mean employment (RME)

This is the 12-month moving average of the monthly employment count, derived from employer monthly schedule data.

Web filtering

Web filtering is a service offered by ISPs that filters by keyword or blocks by URL what a web browser will display, usually for the benefit of children.


Information obtained from Statistics NZ may be freely used, reproduced, or quoted unless otherwise specified. In all cases Statistics NZ must be acknowledged as the source.


While care has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting information, Statistics NZ gives no warranty that the information supplied is free from error. Statistics NZ shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product, or service.


Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics NZ. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delays.

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