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Evolution Wireless Rated #1

Posted by on 23 July 2015


Tairāwhiti Technology Trust
Media Release 
7 July 2015 
Gisborne ISPs top national competitors in first regional broadband survey
Local Internet Service Providers are providing better services for less cost than the much larger national companies according to the first regional survey of internet use. 
The Tairawhiti Broadband Survey administered by Tairawhiti Technology Trust surveyed 160 households about their internet use, approximately 90% of respondents live in Gisborne City. 
The online survey was promoted through local print and social media as well as email and local businesses with questions covering the type of activities the internet is used for in the home, what devices people use for online access and what upload and download speeds users experience.

42% of respondents were connected to local ISP Evolution, 24 % with Spark, 21% with Vodafone/TelstraClear, 8% Gisborne.Net and the remaining 5% with others. 
60% of Gisborne.Net users had shifted from Spark/Telecom with a third rating the oldest local ISP Excellent, 42% rating it Pretty Good and 25% Satisfactory. Evolution customers had moved from ISPs across the spectrum with 68% rating the ISP as Excellent, 29% Pretty Good and 3% Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.  Only 6% of Spark customers rated the ISP Excellent, 42% said it was Pretty Good and 39% said Satisfactory, 11% said it was unsatisfactory and 3% Terrible. 10% of Vodafone/TelstraClear customers said their ISP was Excellent, 47% thought it was Pretty Good, 33% Satisfactory and 10% Unsatisfactory.

Most households are spending $50-90 per month on broadband and nearly 10% spend over $100/month while 6% spend less than $40/month. Nearly half of the survey respondents are on unlimited data plans and some ISPs like Gisborne.Net have customers solely on unlimited plans. The most affordable ISP is Gisborne.Net with an average monthly bill of $50-60, Evolution is next most affordable with average charges of $60-70 and Spark and Vodafone/TelstraClear are charging customers on average $80/month. 

Of the top four ISPs, Evolution Wireless performs best in terms of speed followed by Spark then Gisborne.Net and Vodafone – but there are significant differences across households and this may be due to the plan they are on, the location and time of access.

ISP Average Download (Mb/s) Average Upload (Mb/s)
Gisborne.Net 5 - 10 3 - 5
Evolution 10 - 30 10 - 30
Spark 10 - 30 5 - 10
Vodafone 5 - 20 < 10

Nearly half of all households surveyed now include a ‘landline’ in their internet plan with a fifth also using Voice Over IP and/or including a streaming movies/TV bundled with their internet service. 
Nearly 80% use their mobile phones to connect to the internet at home, less than half are using a desktop computer and three quarters use a laptop while nearly 60% use a tablet, eReader or iPad.
The most popular uses for the internet at home are email (94%), social media (92%), online banking and financial services (84%), online shopping (71%), homework (64%), business/work (61%) and accessing news media (60%).  12% use it for looking for work, 46% for utilities (electricity, phone, etc.) and 25% for government services – less than the 40% who use it for nutrition, wellbeing and health services. 16% use it for spiritual nourishment, 30% for online gaming, 42% for downloading movies/music and 50% for booking travel. 
More than 90% of respondents are satisfied with the internet speed they currently have at home, and the vast majority are happy with the technical support they receive from their ISP.
TaiTech chairperson Russell Holland says the results are extremely important and reveal much about the local internet landscape.  
“It is really pleasing that our two local ISPs come out on top in the most important categories of overall customer satisfaction, speed and affordability” said Mr Holland. 
“Of course there is still much to be done. Tairāwhiti has the lowest household internet access rate in New Zealand and there are major infrastructure, affordability and knowledge challenges staring us in the face” said Mr Holland. “These results can give local leaders and investors confidence that when people have the opportunity and skills to access the internet, we have great local ISPs available and a wide range of uses to improve the lives of local families.” 
“We are grateful to the 160 participants and thank them for sharing their online experiences. These results should have the big boys shaking in their boots and demonstrate that we have two local companies delivering internet services that are superior in every way to their national competitors.”