Broadband Abroad: Internet Connectivity Outside of the United States
New Zealand, Canada, and More
The New Zealand telecommunications industry is in the process of being deregulated, according to Annabel Crerar, acting deputy editor of PC World New Zealand. "We're all hoping that big changes in the speed and cost of Internet access in New Zealand will follow," she says.
Broadband connections account for about a third of home Internet connections; most of those are DSL lines with a "miserable" maximum download speed of 3.5 mbps and an upload speed of 128 kbps, says Crerar. "This is partly due to our physical distance from international content (the majority of English-language Web sites are hosted in the U.S. and United Kingdom). Although the Southern Cross Cable [a submarine network of fiber-optic cable connecting the island nation's telecommunications to those in other parts of the world] has no capacity issues, bandwidth charges are high."
Still, prices for those modest speeds aren't terrible; a 3.5-mbps plan from Slingshot with a 10GB cap costs NZ$50, or about US$31 (that includes an NZ$10 discount for getting phone service through the same provider).
If you opt for cable, you also have to buy telephone service; a bundle of both from TelstraClear with a 4-mbps Internet connection and a 10GB cap costs NZ$81.90 or about US$51 per month.
As in the United States, cable and DSL dominate Canada's Internet connectivity options, with bandwidths that are comparable, says Jim Ducharme, editor of PC World Canada. At the high end, Videotron's 20-mbps cable Internet connection costs Can$80, or about US$71 monthly. A 5-mbps DSL connection from Bell Canada costs Can$47, or about US$42 per month. As in several other countries, providers like to bundle Internet connections with phone and/or television service. Ducharme says 35 percent of Canadians still get Internet access via dial-up connections.
Internet Connections Worldwide
Of course, this information covers just a small sampling of the more than 240 countries around the world. For information on Internet access in other countries, see this Wikipedia entry.