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Stephen Fry's broadband woes solved

Monday 20 Feb 2012 5:42 p.m.

By Tova O’Brien

Stephen Fry has – in his own words – stirred up a hornet's nest with insulting remarks on twitter about the performance of broadband in New Zealand.

The British actor and comedian is in the country working on Peter Jackson's Hobbit movie. When he found his internet speed slowing to a crawl, he vented his frustration on Twitter.

Fry told his Twitter followers – nearly 4 million of them – that New Zealand’s broadband was “pathetic” and probably the worst he’s encountered.

However, it turned out that it wasn’t the broadband but Fry himself who caused the holdup; the house he’s staying at had a ‘cap plan’, and he exceeded the limit, causing the internet to slow.

While he announced his mistake on Twitter, Fry went on to call service capping “disastrous”. Telecom says customers are only capped if they choose to be.

“Bill shock is a problem,” a Telecom spokesperson said.

 “If you have teenage children in particular data usage can be heavy, and you want to make sure how much data you can use.”

The Government is putting $1.5 billion into New Zealand's broadband, with the aim of making it ultra-fast for most of the country.

Fry’s first tweets were sent at 6am today – around 5pm in Britain, a peak tweeting time for his millions of UK followers.

His mea culpa didn't come until much later, around midnight in the UK, so chances are Fry's earlier tweets are the ones which will be remembered.

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