New Zealand's average internet connection speed is faster than Australia's, according to an international report, but we are still only ranked 42 in the world.

However, industry experts believe New Zealand could climb into the top 10 globally in the next few years.

The latest quarterly state of the internet report released by cloud service provider Akamai ranked New Zealand's average broadband speed as sixth fastest in the Asia Pacific region, with an average connection speed of 7Mbps (Megabits per second) for the three months to September 30. The average speed was 37 per cent higher than during the same period the previous year.

New Zealand is ranked 42nd out of more than 130 countries, with Australia at 44. Nations higher than New Zealand include Latvia, at eight, Romania at 16, and Russia at 29.


Craig Young, chief executive of Telecommunications Users of New Zealand Association (Tuanz), said although the results from Akamai were an average across all network technologies which could be variable, the general trend was representative.

"If you take all of these [studies] with a grain of salt and you look at all of them, you get the general trend, which is upwards," Young said. "We're catching up to Australia. I expect we'll go past them, but we want to see it continue to go up."

The report indicated that only 14 per cent of New Zealanders had internet speeds above 10Mbps.

"That's showing us that we still have a long way to go."

The Government's plan to connect 75 per cent of New Zealanders to ultra-fast broadband by 2020 would help the situation. Ultra-fast broadband allows download speeds of up to 100Mbps at present.

Telecommunications consultant Jonathan Brewer said the increase in speed was likely a result of higher data caps as well as investment in the networks to help cope with increased data demands as more video content becomes available online.

"A few years ago most home users stayed away from TV and movie streaming services, afraid they'd blow their data caps and end up with heavy penalties. Now streaming is becoming the norm.

"I don't think we're seeing the impact of ultra-fast broadband uptake on statistics yet, but I bet that by 2019 average speeds in New Zealand will be ranked in the top 10 in the world," he said.

John Butt of broadband monitoring firm TrueNet said there were some problems with the study.

"There are a lot of issues with the data," Butt said. "It is a good measure of the speed we see in New Zealand when we use the internet but that's very different from the speed you can get, which is what they are measuring."

Butt said Akamai's results were based on the connection speed from all devices regardless of the type of wifi, device, age of the device or distance from the router - all significant factors.

However, Butt agreed New Zealand was tracking well globally.