Broadband Speed Comparison

Why Report DSL Time of Day Variation & not Speed?

Maximum DSL Speed Influencers

Usually DSL speed is referred to as "up to" because the broadband speeds your line can receive to your door will depend on a number of factors, including how far you are from your local exchange - the closer you are, the higher the speed your line can handle.

The following table details the major influences on maximum speed of a DSL connection.  TrueNet uses your line's measured maximum speed as a base to compare DSL performance.

Maximum Speed Limiting Factors

Influence on Maximum Speed


who can fix


Home wiring, eg long extension lead, splitter incorrectly installed or telephone wires used instead of ethernet.

Home wiring can reduce speed down to 100kbps.  Most commonly use of an extension cord or many phone extensions


Hire a Technician


Often fixed by calling for advice from the ISP - rare to find after instal is finalised

Distance to nearest DSLAM

can reduce speed down to 1Mbps


Instal a nearby cabinet, but expensive.

The usual reason for speed limitations

Faulty DSLAM card

Can reduce speed


Chorus maintenance

Very Rare

Cable type

Some cables have thicker wires and can achieve higher speeds over longer distance. This is usually in the rural sector.

Thicker wires were installed to enable telephone calls to extend into the rural communities.  

Due to costs, no-one is likely to improve cables to increase DSL speeds.


Presence of a Chorus DSLAM on your cable route to your ISP DSLAM Unbundled local loop allows ISPs to instal their own DSLAM, but if your line passes a Chorus DSLAM cabinet your speed is going to be very badly affected. ISP, by requesting a Chorus connection to replace their ULL connection Becoming rare

DSLAM settings

10-20% speed loss

ISP instal a DSLAM - very expensive

DSLAM owner can change settings


Limited by good governance rules to avoid impact on other users

Lack of Peering to Internet Exchanges in NZ

Potentially reduce speeds to international

ISP by better peering


Some ISPs do not peer.

Maximum speed is primarily limited by the location of the connection.  The maximum speed available is dependent on the distance from the nearest DSLAM.  Very few people choose where to live or where to have an office based on the location of the nearest Chorus exchange or cabinet.  

TrueNet selects volunteers based on having sufficient numbers for each ISP in various regions, for this reason distance to the nearest DSLAM is random.  Average speed of connections by ISP will depend on the average distance of their customers from DSLAMs.  

Only peering improves maximum speed but maximum speed does not influence time of day.


Location generally dictates maximum DSL connection speeds, not ISPs.  ISPs are a major influence on time-of-day perfromance.



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