One of the priorities for expats when they first arrive in a new country is to stay connected to family and friends back home. The Internet is a convenient and cost-effective way to stay in touch via email and video calls. It also comes in handy for carrying out some quick research on your new town or city. You can find listings for all kinds of services and tips on where to go and what to do.
Expats in New Zealand will have hardly any trouble connecting to the net, as it is an English-speaking country with affordable Internet access. The speed is known to be slower than it is in the United States and European countries and in comparison the costs could also be higher. But this is true only of the rural areas of the country.There are many regions in the country that are beyond digital range. However, these are also the most pristine areas of wilderness where people usually go for hiking, bird watching and other such activities, which are done best without any electronic or digital interference! The main cities are likely to have improved Internet speed, although you may have to do some homework on which net plan is best suited for you. Here is some useful information on Internet access in New Zealand.
Most people are likely to take their mobile phone, laptop or tablet along when relocating. You can use any or all of these to access the Internet once you have purchased a plan. There are a few main networks in New Zealand that provide data plans. There are also Wi-Fi spots in different locations in the major cities where you can use the Internet at no charge. You may also be able to find some of these spots sporadically across the rest of the country. Once you buy a plan from a network, you can have access to calling, texting and data for the rest of your stay in New Zealand. You can even opt for an ADSL line and have it installed at your office or residence. New Zealand does not place any restrictions on websites and social media.
Mobile and data networks
The main mobile and data networks that provide data plans include Vodafone, 2degrees, Spark and Skinny. The plan can be purchased at the nearest branch of any of these networks. You will need to take your mobile device along. If you are going to be using more than one device to access the Internet, it is more economical if you have a wireless hotspot set up. All your devices can then run on this. To start with, you can purchase a data pack that you think best suits your needs. The network can also suggest a plan that could fulfil your requirements. Mobile data packs with Telecom enable you to also access the network’s free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country.
Expats that are legally residing in the country can apply for phone contracts by providing identification such as a driver’s license or passport and also proof of residence. Some of the main telecommunications companies in New Zealand include Telecom, 2degrees and Vodafone. The charges for data and mobile packs depend on your usage and for how long you want to use the plan.
There are free Wi-Fi hotspots in most of the urban areas, although this access is not yet very widespread in New Zealand. It may be hard to find Wi-Fi hotspots in the rural areas and smaller towns and villages. Many cafes and restaurants have free Wi-Fi service for customers. The city centers are great spots for accessing free Wi-Fi and a quick Internet search ahead of time will give you listings of Wi-Fi spots in all of the main cities like Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington.
New Zealand’s public libraries also provide free Internet access and anyone who uses the library can avail themselves of this facility. The service was especially created for locals who don’t otherwise have Internet access, but these spots are becoming popular among visitors too and it is common to see crowds of people gathered in the Wi-Fi rooms.