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Internet Service Provider Survey: 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  12 October 2012

About the Internet Service Provider Survey

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) Survey collects information on businesses that provide Internet access to New Zealand households and businesses. 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 subscriber: a customer that has accessed the Internet or paid for access to the Internet through this Internet service provider within the last 90 days. Under this definition, the following inclusions and exclusions are made:


  • all subscribers who obtain access to the Internet through an ISP
  • both dial-up and broadband connection subscribers
  • free or discounted connections offered for staff
  • free or discounted connections offered for customers.


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

Active mobile handset subscriber: a subscriber who has used a mobile phone to connect to the Internet within the last three months.

ANZSIC06: Australia and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 codes. These are the codes 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.

Botnet: a 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. This includes digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, fibre optic, satellite, cellular, and fixed wireless.

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

Data cap: 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 subscribers reach the cap, lower speed or extra access charges may apply. Also referred to as a data allowance.

Data card: a card which contains data or which is used for data operations (examples: Vodafone 3G card or Telecom Aircard).

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

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

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

  • greater than $30,000 annual GST expenses or sales
  • 12-month rolling mean employee count of greater than three
  • part of a group of enterprises
  • 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): a 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 break down the results of the Internet Service Provider Survey by size of provider. There are five sizes:

  • Very small: Providers with between 1 and 100 subscribers
  • Small: Providers with between 101 and 1,000 subscribers
  • Medium: Providers with between 1,001 and 10,000 subscribers
  • Large: Providers with between 10,001 and 100,000 subscribers
  • Very large: Providers with 100,001 or more subscribers.

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).

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

Phishing: an attempt to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication, such as an email.

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

Trojan: software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but (perhaps in addition to the expected function) steals information or harms the system.

USB modem: a small portable USB device that functions as a modem and plugs into a laptop or desktop computer.

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