New Zealanders making just a few phone calls a month face the highest line rental costs in the OECD.
Medium to high users of mobile voice services also have a poor rank under OECD benchmarking, and high users of broadband also faced high prices compared with those overseas, according to a Commerce Commission report.
High monthly line rental charges and relatively high fixed-to-mobile calling prices meant New Zealand ranked poorly in the OECD benchmarking of fixed line voice services, according to the government agency report.
“Having no alternative to a plan with a fixed price for unlimited local calls favours those consumers who make a lot of local calls and disadvantages those who make few. Consumers making few monthly calls effectively cross-subsidise consumers who make a large number of calls,” Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson said.
The report also looked at the price of broadband services in New Zealand compared to prices in four other countries.
The Commission was cautious about drawing definitive conclusions from limited fixed line broadband benchmarking, but it seemed the price of broadband in New Zealand for low and medium users was in line with other countries. High users, however, faced a significantly higher price in New Zealand compared to other similarly developed countries, Dr Patterson said. Prices in Australia were significantly lower than New Zealand for high broadband users.