“SMEs YET TO SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY OF UFB FIBRE”
Published in November 2015
In 2010 a survey on business use of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) was conducted by TUANZ. Earlier this year (2015) it was decided to survey the TUANZ membership once again and to invite the Greater East Tamaki Business Association (GETBA) to participate given the length of time UFB had been available in that area. The survey was conducted online during the month of June 2015.
Over November, each week we will publish a post that covers off a key finding from the survey finishing up with our thoughts on the opportunities that we see arising from the survey results. We have also published the data to the Figure.NZ site and you can see the results here.
In 2010 the survey reflected a NZ corporate viewpoint, with more than half the respondents from businesses employing 100 or more staff. In 2015, due to the inclusion of GETBA, this was reversed with nearly 50% (47.17%) of all survey respondents reporting 0-19 employees, what is considered by Statistics NZ to be a small to medium enterprise (SME). Corporate respondents made up a far smaller share of the 2015 sample at around 30%.Another difference this year was the increase in manufacturing and wholesale industries represented. The 2010 survey was largely dominated by telecommunications and education and training providers, and it was considered that this self-selection may have resulted in a higher level of awareness of UFB than non-respondents. The surveys in both years, by nature of the organisations involved, were heavily skewed by Auckland based respondents.
SME’s yet to seize the opportunity
In 2010 around 64% of respondents said they already had at least one fibre service. This was not surprising given that fibre optic services had already been deployed in many CBD locations and the majority of respondents were corporates. For clarity on the difference – fibre laid before the UFB initiative was not built as part of an open access network available for all retail service providers to offer services over, and therefore more costly. It was largely made up of a series of bespoke, point-to-point connections from the exchange directly into the corporate office.
Back in 2010, of all respondents asked about their likelihood to connect to UFB within a year of it being available, 82% said they were “likely to”, “highly likely to” or “definitely will” connect. This could only be considered an indicator of future behaviour as no retail costs were provided then.