'I may have been grossly unfair': Fry explains Twitter rant (again)

Actor Stephen Fry has slammed New Zealand's broadband, while praising the country's other features. Photo / Supplied
Actor Stephen Fry has slammed New Zealand's broadband, while praising the country's other features. Photo / Supplied

British performer Stephen Fry has explained a Twitter tirade in which he slammed New Zealand broadband speeds, and has sung praises for the country along the way in a recent blog.

Fry has been living in a rented flat in Wellington while he films for the Hobbit, and took to Twitter last week to vent his frustrations with slow broadband.

He tweeted: "Rise up, Kiwis and demand better? You wouldn't allow crap roads with pot holes and single file."

Then: "I know, it's feeble to moan. I'm on set now. It's 6:15 and the wifi here is good. But I have so many videos and sound files to upload."

In his recent blog entitled "Making an arse of myself in Wellington", Fry has explained why he took to Twitter to complain.

"I may have been grossly unfair. I certainly put a bit of oomph into the response of Telecom New Zealand's competitors and perhaps that venerable old corporation itself, but it may be that it was not my place as a happy visitor to say or do any such thing."

He could not believe it when Telecom's opposition TelstraClear took out a full page ad in the newspaper which said "don't get angry at snail's pace broadband Mr Fry, just get TelstraClear".

At the time of Fry's complaint Telecom said Fry had been tapping into someone else's internet and exceeded the broadband data cap for the entry-level plan the home owners were on.

In his blog, Fry said Telecom moved quickly to cancel the data cap on his service and replaced the "ancient dusty modem".

"I appreciated their attention and rapid service, but of course I had to point out, as many New Zealanders did, that I shouldn't be getting any preferential treatment.

"It is not Stephen Fry who deserves a better broadband service, it is every New Zealand citizen."

Fry then goes on to explain his love for the country, despite its slow internet.

"Mostly I think it fair to say a majority of New Zealanders have agreed with me. Some were put out by my criticising their country, but most have travelled abroad and know that the standard of broadband you get back here is not exactly up to snuff."

New Zealand's roads were as good as any country he had ever visited, the coffee was better, the food was exquisite and the wine-making was outstanding, he said.

"Despite the sheep jokes this is as sophisticated, progressive and forward looking a nation-state as exists in the world, its population of a mere four million or so punching hugely above their weight in almost every field of endeavour.

"Modest, welcoming, zoologically and botanically unique, there are few places in the world where I feel more at home than kiwiland and if I offended by being rude about its digital performance, then I am sorry. But I promise you it came from love. Well, love with mixed with early morning grumpiness."

- APNZ

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