I thought we were on the same page as to the quality of NZ net and only in disagreement as to its cause?
I'm not with Telecom and enjoy a (relatively) good service as a direct result. In the past, this would have been rather difficult. Telecom's a shadow of its former self, however... and is steadily decreasing in power. Its shares
have been taking a hit almost daily -- expand the history of that link back to 2008 to see the extent.
a good source of ISP plans in NZ. Telecom are somewhere in the middle. As for market penetration, I'm unable to find any hard data on it. It used to be 90%~ Xtra at the beginning of the naughties. In 2005-2006, it had gone down to 75% shared with TelstraClear. I have no idea what it is now.
Back to my original argument: Monopoly? Not so much anymore. Return on investment? Definitely. We have four million people. TelstraClear have been finding it difficult to justify expanding their cable network in NZ (they actually tried to let their existing cable network fall out of favour for a few years and have only recently begun to roll out new fiber). Telecom, monopoly or no, have very real financial concerns preventing them from ripping up our shitty national copper network for something better. Undersea cabling linking us to the rest of the 'net suffers from the same difficulty of recouping the investment; that's why international traffic is expensive and ISPs often lift their data caps for national traffic.
The one thing NZ internet has going for it is that we're a perfect test bed for new technology.