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Top 10 internet predictions for 2015, by InternetNZ

InternetNZ has released significant predictions about the internet for the new year. “In the spirit of bravery and with the knowledge of almost certainly being proven wrong on many,” InternetNZ provides insight into where the internet is going in 2015.

10. More significant security breaches. InternetNZ says the hacking of Sony Pictures is one example of large-scale, public security attacks, and predicts they will become increasingly common. It is inevitable that with more data moving online online attacks increase, they say.

9. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will become more accountable. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has made the transition to ICANN and this, among other things, ensures ICANN has structures and processes in place to remain accountable to the international internet community, and this will lead to tangible change, says InternetNZ.

8. Companies will change the way they charge for internet. InternetNZ says while this prediction may be ‘optimistic naivety’, they hope the 'profiteering madness' of the internet will come to an end. This could see roaming charges overseas and restrictive caps and charges at hotels reduced. Spark already offers free WiFi to customers from Spark phone boxes and SkyCity Grand offers free unlimited WiFi as part of the room rate.

7. The internet will continue to be a challenge for legislators. InternetNZ says they have a good relationships across the Parliamentary chamber, but the internet continues to be hard work in legislation. This year will see the Harmful Digital Communications Bill emerge, and InternetNZ says it's hard to know how well it will limit harm online without restricting freedom of speech. Anticipating there will be more legislative challenges, InternetNZ says they are looking at starting an Internet Law advisory group, taking note of models that work overseas.

6. Copper pricing will still be a big talking point. InternetNZ says the Commerce Commission’s Final Pricing Principle (FPP) will not go to plan as the process is being rushed and there are too many issues to sort out in the timeframe proposed.

5. The contents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will be transparent and enable copyright reviews. Currently work on the TPPA is slow, and the New Zealand Government says it intends to hold off a review of copyright legislation until the TPPA process is completed. InternetNZ says the TPPA is just part of the puzzle and there is work that can be done now, but hopefully reviews will commence in 2015.

4. Young New Zealanders will choose online platforms over traditional broadcasting platforms. InternetNZ says consumer behaviour is changing dramatically and it is New Zealand’s youth that is leading the way. Use of Lightbox (Spark), Quickflix, Neon (SkyTV), Premiuer League Pass (Coliseum) and Netflix’s new NZ offer will increase throughout 2015, as will technologies such as Global Mode which unlocks content from overseas.

3. Uptake of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) will skyrocket. InternetNZ predicts many New Zealanders will connect to the UFB this year for a better experience, and prove the investment was worthwhile.

2. More rural communities will be connected. The second phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) will help to drive this, says InternetNZ. Working with the Digital Development Associates, InternetNZ has been doing research into rural communities and their internet connectivity. The research and RBI-2 will bring more opportunities, wider technology options, enhanced mobile tech and a better plan for connecting rural New Zealand, says InternetNZ.

1. New Zealanders will continue to use the internet in innovative ways. Many internet innovations were seen in 2014, says InternetNZ - Xero used it to take on one of the biggest accounting corporations in the world, High Road won accolades for their web series creation, and Grinding Gears Games launched Path of Exile via the internet - this will only continue in 2015.