Technically speaking broadband internet access is is a high data rate, low-latency connection to the Internet. Data is carried over copper, fibre or via a wireless or satelite connection at different frequencies to that of voice.

There are four main ways you can get broadband.

Through your phone line

Broadband through the telephone line traditionally travels through copper cables from the telephone exchange to your home using DSL tecnology. A cable from the broadband modem is then plugged into the phone jack and connected to the computer. The broadband signal weakens as it travels along the copper cable so the distance from your house to the nearest exchange becomes a factor in the performance of your broadband.  Our fibre to the cabinet programme brought broadband equipment, called DSLAMs, closer to your home so you would get faster speed.

Broadband delivered over fibre does not degrade over distance. There is much less resistance and you get much faster speeds. This uses a technology known as GPON.


Mobile broadband provides a wireless connection between the nearest mobile phone site and the mobile device you are using to access the internet, whether this is a computer, mobile phone, or PDA. If you are using a computer, you'll need a data card or a modem which you plug into your computer. Mobile broadband uses the same network to carry broadband signals as mobile phones use to make calls. Wherever there is good mobile coverage you should be able to connect to the Internet.


Wireless broadband provides a wireless connection between the nearest wireless broadband transmitter and a wireless broadband modem connected to your computer. It uses radio waves travelling from a transmission tower to a receiver in your home and operates a separate network to the mobile phone network. Wireless broadband is a key component of the Rural Broadband Initiative.


Satellite broadband is arguably the most efficient method of reaching remote locations as it accessible across almost all of New Zealand. The IPstar satellite which provides broadband coverage to New Zealand emits beams which are picked up by a satellite dish on your property.

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