Glossary

Glossary

Details on how we measure are available on our Technical Page.

ADSL, VDSL, DSL - the standard broadband service provided over a telephone line from an exchange or a cabinet (FTTN),  VDSL is a faster version than ADSL.  They use similar technology and backhaul, so sometimes DSL is used when referring to both. ADSL is sometimes called "Standard Copper", and VDSL "High Speed Copper".ADSL1 Rural only broadband.

Backhaul or Longhaul - the links that are used to connect over long distances, e.g. from say Christchurch or Hamilton to Auckland.

Capped Plans - the most common ADSL service, where you have a monthly plan having a GigaByte (GB) limit of usage each month before your speed is slowed or you must pay more.

Unlimited Plans - ADSL service where there is no monthly limit on the amount of data used.  Specifications for this service include that it may be "Managed" and have "performance reductions applied during peak demand periods."

Cable -  Cable is offered by Telstra & Optus in Australia, and is available in a limited number of cities. Vodafone offers cable in the Wellington and Christchurch areas.

Cabinet - In NZ there are two cabinet types, an Active Cabinet, which has electronics inside, usually a DSLAM, and a Passive Cabinet, which is simply a flexible cable joint.  They are common in suburbs as large steel cabinets with usually two doors for accessing the insides.  Chorus is often having them painted with pictures to reduce graffiti.

DNS - Domain Name Server. As the Internet is based on IP addresses, a DNS service translates domain names into the corresponding IP addresses. Searches require translation into IP addresses, and poor DNS performance slows the browsing experience.

DSLAM - the exchange or cabinet based equipment that your modem is connected to, over the pair of copper wires that are exclusively allocated to your premises.

Ethernet - The wiring used to connect computers to a network, typically an Ethernet cable is coloured (often blue), with small square connectors at each end.

FTTN - Fibre To The Node is based on fibre-optic cables run to a cabinet serving a neighbourhood. It uses existing coaxial or twisted-pair infrastructure to provide connections from the cabinet to the home.  Approximately 50% of NZ homes are able to be served by FTTN

FTTH - Fibre To The Home (or Premises) are connected using a gigabit passive optical network (GPON). A fibre cable, known as the "drop fibre", goes from the premises to the street. The "drop fibre" cable joins a "local network" which links a number of premises to a splitter in the fibre distribution hub.  In NZ this is known as UFB.

Gaming Servers - TrueNet uses 5 gaming server addresses based in Sydney for testing, however these change frequently without notice and we sometimes miss the change.  We would be pleased to use others if we had the IP addresses, if you own one, please contact us.  Those we use currently include:

  1. League of Legends (1) - 59.100.95.145
  2. League of Legends (2) - 203.174.139.185
  3. Battlefield 4 - 108.61.227.193
  4. DOTA 2 - 103.10.125.1
  5. World of Warcraft - 103.4.115.248
  6. Starcraft - 103.4.114.1

ISPs - Internet Service Providers. TrueNet has probes measuring almost 20 ISPs but only reports on those where there are 5 or more probes working during any particular month.

Latency - The time for a packet of data to be returned by a remote server to the probe when a "Ping" command is issued.  TrueNet sets targets for maximum median latency that are known to be achievable. The roundtrip Latency between Auckland and Dunedin in fibre optic cables is roughly 15 msec.

LFC - Local Fibre Company.  These companies are rolling out FTTH connections subsidised by the government, but must sell services through ISPs.

Live Public Webpages - These were listed on Alexa.com as some of the most popular websites from NZ, we often change websites to ensure fairness between ISPs.  The location of the website is based on perception (not the location of the cache or CDN)

  • NZ:  Kiwibank, NZTA, Priceme, Radio NZ, Real Estate, Scoop, The Warehouse, ANZ, Orcon, Slingshot, Spark, Vodafone, Voyager, Westpac, Broadbandcompare, Chorus, Commerce Commission, Farmers, Immigration NZ, IRD, NZ Metservice, NZ Herald, NZ Post, NZTA, Priceme (NZ), Stuff, Trademe, TVNZ, 
  • Australia: Bureau of Meteorology,  News.com, Nine News, SMH, ABC News, Google(AU), Commonwealth Bank, Realestate (AU), .  
  • USA: ABC7 - LA, Blogspot, CBS Local - LA, Daily News, Diply, Netflix, Outbrain, Reddit, SF Chronicle, Vice, Wikipedia.
  • China: - Aliexpress, Alibaba
  • UK: The Lab Bible
  • We also measure TheLadBible, but that is a UK based site, extremely popular in NZ so is cached on a CDN in the USA.  

LLU - or Local Loop Unbundled lines are DSL lines where the ISP uses their own DSLAM in the exchange to deliver DSL services.   The ISP then leases the copper line (Local Loop) between the exchange and their customer's premises.

Median - The Median is found for each probe and this is input to any analysis to calculate the average performance.  This means that any result represents the “middle” performance measure applicable for that probe.  Using median ensures that the result is more representative due to the often skewed nature of measurements by probe.

NBN Fibre (AUS) - "NBN co is a single entity rolling out fibre nationwide and then wholesaling it to ISP’s" from a good comparison here.

RBI (Rural Broadband Initiative) - from the Chorus page here "RBI pulls together several elements that mean 87% of rural New Zealand will get ADSL2+ or VDSL broadband. It incorporates copper, fibre and wireless networks to deliver better broadband. Where you live and work determines what solution is provided - either fixed line broadband (over the our copper and fibre networks) or fixed wireless broadband (over Vodafone's mobile network)."

Speed - Throughput or the median peak connection speed achieved during our standard test downloading an image from our test servers.  TrueNet normally reports speed as a comparison at low vs high demand times to show any capacity constraints evident in speed performance, often called the Time of Day analysis.

UFB Fibre (NZ) -  Ultra Fast Broadband connections are the service offered by some ISPs over the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network built by LFCs over government subsidised fibres.  Services now being offered include 200Mbps, 100Mbps, 50Mbps and 30Mbps, with 1000Mbps available as part of the Gigatown initiative.

Webpage Download - TrueNet maintains a Standard Test page which is used for measuring the time to download the entire page.  This page is visible here, we use a copy located on our test servers for test downloads.  The time to download excludes the time for a browser to generate the page on a screen, some are faster than others.

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