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Stephen Fry rubbishes 'pathetic' NZ broadband

Monday 20 Feb 2012 11:51a.m.

Stephen Fry rubbishes 'pathetic' NZ broadband

By 3 News online staff / NZN

British actor Stephen Fry has taken to Twitter to complain about New Zealand's "pathetic" broadband internet.

Fry, who is in Wellington for the filming of Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, tweeted early on Monday morning that New Zealand's broadband is "probably the worst. Broadband I've ever encountered (sic)".

He labelled the service "pathetic" and called on Kiwis to rise up and demand better.

Telecom replied to the tweet, offering Fry a mobile broadband stick, to which he responded "kind of you to express an interest".

Fry concluded following the outburst that "I'm sure another couple of flat whites will cheer me up".

A few hours later, he was told he'd exceeded his download limit.

"Well, seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest," he tweeted to his almost 4 million followers.

"It seems I exceeded a [download] limit and had my BB throttled to a crawl. @TelecomNZ have put this right. Very quick and polite. But I wonder if everyone who complains gets this attention? I think Comcast style throttling… for the economy it's disastrous, for visitors for everyone. It won't stop illegal bit torrentinf [sic]. Makes as much sense as closing a lane of traffic because there's congestion."

Comcast, an ISP in the US, introduced data caps in 2008 of around 250gb, causing outrage amongst its customers. In 2006 it began throttling bittorrent downloads.

Fry says New Zealanders need to pressure Telecom into upping their game.

"Yes, kiwi land is remote, but if Avatar can be made here and MZ wants to keep its rep for being the loveable, easy-going, outdoorsy yet tech savvy place it is, then pressure @telecomNZ into offering better packages."

"Kiwis travel. A lot. They know 20MB is routine in Europe ( nothrottling) UK rolling out ultra fast fibreoptic. S Korea miles ahead Come on New Zealand. You're world champions at rugby & filmmaking. Pressure the providers to stop it being a digital embarrassment."

He says he got a "swift response", despite being "no one special".

"Your local customers should be special," says Fry. "They need choice, service, understanding and respect.

"Phew! That probably enough on that xx."

OECD figures put New Zealand in the middle of the pack for advertised broadband download speeds, but the cost of accessing broadband is higher in New Zealand than in most other OECD countries.

This is despite the number of broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants growing faster in New Zealand than in other OECD countries.

3 News / NZN

 
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