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New Zealand quality of life still has some way to go

Paul Brislen, Editor. 29 July 2020, 5:00 am

Here in New Zealand we pride ourselves on our quality of life but when it comes to our digital quality of life we've got a little way to go still.

VPN provider Surfshark reviews the "digital quality of life" for 85 countries covering more than 6 billion people around the world and assesses each country against five core pillars: internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security, and e-government.

First, the good news. New Zealand ranks 17th overall, just behind Germany and Switzerland and ahead of Australia which came in at 19th overall.

Our internet quality is high (11th in the world) meaning our speeds are some of the fastest in the world, and our e-infrastructure is equally impressive (10th in the world) with good geographic spread, but when it comes to electronic security, New Zealand doesn't even make the top 20, coming in at a woeful 26th overall.

This pillar is made up of cybersecurity where we sit at 34th overall, and data protection laws, which are described as "adequate".

Mobile affordability also pulls us down - 37th globally, meaning we're well off the boil there, according to Surfshark.

The top-ranked countries are of course the Scandinavian group with Denmark in first place followed by Sweden. Canada places third, which is interesting given its lack of international investment in the telco sphere, with France in at fourth and Norway rounding out the top five.

Singapore leads the way for internet quality and also for e-government, an area New Zealand hopes to grow in.

Almost half of the countries studied (49 out of 85) have experienced a drop in mobile speeds during the COVID outbreak with 44 experiencing a drop in fixed-line broadband speeds as well. This is put down to large numbers of people working from home.\

The report draws from information made available in an open format from various global sources.


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