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Internet Service Provider Survey: 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  12 October 2012
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 population size has remained stable since 2009 when the Internet Service Provider (ISP) Survey moved to an annual collection from six-monthly. Small changes in the population size can be explained by:

  • new businesses being created and others going out of business, including ISPs absorbing other ISPs
  • gaps in population selection method
  • change in definition of the scope of the survey.

Response rates

We sent the survey to just over 70 businesses. The required overall response rate was 85 percent. The response rate achieved was 90 percent. The response rate achieved for key businesses was 100 percent, which met the target.

Consistency with other periods and datasets

Data source

The Internet Service Provider Survey is a survey sent to all New Zealand based Internet service providers. This release provides the results of the ISP survey 2012.

Questionnaire changes

The following changes have been made to the ISP questionnaire for 2012.

  • The selection of possible activities undertaken by a business has been expanded to include provision of mobile handset subscriptions.
  • What is included in the cellular technology section is expanded, based on feedback received.
  • Download speed options have been changed to reflect the speeds ISPs currently advertise.

General information

Reference period

The survey was posted out in July 2012, with a reference period of the last financial year for which the business had results available in July 2012. All respondents had a 30 June 2012 balance date. This aligns with the reference period used by other Organisation for Economic Co-operations and Development (OECD) member countries. Prior to 2009, we collected data 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.

Accuracy of the data


We included connections to the Internet via mobile phone for the first time in 2011, so the scope of the questionnaire no longer required Internet connectivity to be “permanent or regular”. Mobile phones are becoming the preferred method to access the Internet and in order for the ISP Survey to cover all businesses that supply Internet connectivity, this change was required.

Target population

The target population is defined as "All resident New Zealand Internet service providers", where Internet service providers (ISPs) were defined as economically significant businesses that supply Internet connectivity services to individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations in New Zealand.

Connections to the Internet via mobile phones were included for the first time last year. The purpose of this change was to improve the coverage of ISPs.

For a definition of economically significant businesses refer to the Definitions section.

Survey population

Businesses who provide Internet connections via a mobile phone are now included in the survey population.
Businesses that provided other Internet services such as web and domain hosting, but who did not provide ISP services, are excluded from the population. This was because those businesses are not strictly classified as ISPs. Web-hosting units do not interact directly with the public. Since the public access their website through an ISP, the web-hosting units' activity is already covered by the survey. Including these businesses would have resulted in double counting.
Businesses that provided 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 subscribed to, so they did not need to be surveyed separately.


No changes were made to the population selection process this year. In the past (2005–09) we used lists of ISPs obtained from NetGuide and Internet NZ to select the population. From 2010 onwards, the population was sourced from the Statistics New Zealand Business Frame. The population was defined in terms of the ANZSIC06. It specifically included businesses in:

  • 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: this code 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: this code 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: this code 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 final survey lists and a keyword search.

Data collection

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

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.

Sampling error

The ISP Survey is a census rather than a sample, therefore the data is not subject to sample error.


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 businesses who did not respond to the survey was not imputed.

Consistency of terms and variables

Terms and variables can differ between datasets and over time and may not be directly comparable. See the Definitions section for terms and variables used in this release.

More information

See more information about the Internet Service Provider Survey


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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