New Zealand Labour Party

Govt broadband not keeping up with business needs

The latest MYOB Business Monitor which shows just 40 per cent of businesses are happy with their internet service only touches the surface of regional dissatisfaction, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“According to MYOB satisfaction with internet service has fallen from 49 per cent to 40 per cent. That’s a big drop. Business technology is improving at a far quicker pace than National’s broadband roll-out, especially in the regions. This has caused dissatisfaction in regional businesses according to council surveys.

“In Clutha 33 per cent of businesses say internet is very slow or unreliable. Fonterra says poor internet speed in the area constrains the ability of staff to work remotely and attract talent to remote towns or locations.

“In Southland 38 per cent of businesses say the internet doesn’t meet their needs. In Otago it’s 33 per cent.

“Businesses are extremely dissatisfied across the country.

“As a Raetihi business owner says: ‘[It’s] quite hopeless we pay for a connection but do not have the service. We cannot always pay wages on time and have to go into town at night to complete our business’.

“And in Ohakune a shopowner said:  ‘During winter school holidays and weekends the eftpos which runs on internet stops totally. It makes it impossible to sell anything,’

“Despite these issues it appears Genesis Energy was able to get a 55 km cable to its Tuai dam in the middle of nowhere when regional businesses across the country would dearly love better access to broadband.

“There is a digital urban-rural divide opening up that is hurting New Zealand businesses. The shambles of National’s rural broadband must be fixed,” says Clare Curran.