Flip delivered an extraordinary result for their ADSL product, with their peak NZ download speed being equal to their off-peak speed, meaning no congestion at all. They also managed an excellent website download result.
January 2016 saw little change from December 2015, but some ISPs are reaching their capacity limits again with a little bit of congestion showing.
We include Voyager VDSL again after a long period without sufficient panelists. They performed very well in downloads, less so when retrieving a webpage from Australia.
Chorus have been busy upgrading Copper based VDSL to deliver even faster speeds to most customers, independent of ISP. With the introduction of a new band-plan (technical term for changes to the frequencies used) completed in early December, a number of VDSL users will have experienced improvements in performance throughout December and January because the exchange part of DSL technology takes time to discover how to distribute the gains to users.
Performance continues to remain high from all our major ISPs, especially on upload, suggesting the NZ network is free from congestion at this point.
After four years of monitoring broadband technology TrueNet's impact on the quality of performance across all products and technologies is now obvious, as all ISPs that TrueNet reports on are achieving the targets we have set. Congratulations to the major ISPs for reaching a successful product performance standard. We will continue to monitor to ensure that standard is maintained.
We monitor a small sample of Australian connections, and their performance remains below that of all NZ ISPs with the exception of the obvious - downloading of Australian websites.
Congratulations should be extended to the Commerce Commission for having the foresight to start the process; to Vodafone and the Commerce Commission for purchasing our data, making it possible to continue publishing.
Performance of Vodafone 100Mb/s Cable download is now equivalent, if not better than competitive 100Mb/s UFB fibre services. On October the 2nd, Vodafone Cable fixed their major network problems that have been evident since March (NetFlix launched it's services in March) when speeds dropped from 110Mb/s to below 5Mb/s for many users.
Other improvements include reduction in congestion on almost all remaining products and suppliers, to a level not seen before as ISPs are clearly investing in sufficient capacity to meet demand. Orcon, MyRepublic and some Other ISPs have more work to do, but all have improved.
Copper services show a very different trend with Vodafone now requiring more investment to resolve congestion after months of good performances, and Slingshot continuing their major improvement from last month to now lie within the leading bunch of ISPs.
TrueNet note an impressive Slingshot improvement with their performance on copper connections in September compared with their August result.
Congestion on the internet continues to be a major issue for many users, but not for all ISPs, Spark continues to be free of congestion on all technologies while 2Degrees is good on copper and Slingshot have almost caught up
Many ISPs are now showing signs of congestion in their fibre products. Only Spark was immune in August 2015. Early users of Fibre connections (supplied via the Ultra Fast Broadband rollout sponsored by Government) found that their usage was consistently close to full speed at all times of day, despite the product being sold as delivering "up to" the speed they bought. Now that demand is growing and many connections are sharing the same backhaul, congestion is reducing speeds in the evenings on many ISPs networks. Chart 7 shows the impact.
Vodafone Cable has a similar network structure to Fibre, where all users share a backhaul from a local node. Vodafone Cable continued to have serious congestion in the evenings right throughout August after having insufficient capacity to support the major increase in on-line video that started with Netflix launch in March.
Provisioning errors remain an issue for Fibre connections.
For international file downloads from the USA on copper connections (ADSL & VDSL), the best ISPs by quite a margin are Slingshot & Vodafone. This translates to also being the best ISPs for downloading the websites we test that are based in the USA.
Only two plans remain with apparent congestion after the launch of multiple movie providers in March; Vodafone's Cable is degraded to a level causing significant consumer complaints, and Slingshot copper services performance variation is greater than other ISPs, although we have not observed complaints.
The May report noted that congestion issues seen since March 2015 appeared to be on the mend and mostly gone. Matching the capacity requirements of consumers is an imperfrect art, and this month there are lingering signs of contention in the evening period. However, network congestion is still better than that experienced a couple months ago.
We include an Other ISP group this month, where we group results from 62 panelists on 19 ISPs. As a group they are the worst performers on all technologies and tests, although while some are not very good, others are able to deliver as good as the best.
Fibre provisioning errors are so frequent TrueNet has resorted to holding back on reporting results until we have confirmed with a panelist that they have the correct service. ISPs need to ensure they are filling orders correctly more often.
DNS Response Time and Latency is reported this month, looking at the difference between North and South Islands. The South Island has greater latency to test points because of greater physical distance, but DNS times show that some ISPs provide for customers better than others.
New Zealand data use soared immediately Netflix launched in mid March 2015, according to Spark, and over the next two months there was not enough capacity for supply to meet demand on some ISPs connections we monitor. But by May the shortfall in supply was mostly satisfied, just a month and a half after the NetFlix launch, demonstrating the highly competitive nature of the ISP market in New Zealand.
Rural Broadband is reported this month with a fresh look at Satellite which, despite high latency, manages to achieve website downloads competitive with ADSL.
April results continue with the same pattern as March where peak evening performance was down from the previous long term trend. TrueNet measurements show reduced speed for file downloads from almost all locations we measure on some ISPs. Increased time to download websites is now featuring strongly, supporting the probablility there is congestion in some networks.
April is worse than March, and we have yet to see whether this is the bottom of the cycle where investment in network capacity resolves congestion.