This month we compare webpage download speeds with those reported by the FCC (USA's equivalent of the Commerce Commission), who use nearly identical methods to TrueNet. In New Zealand, ISPs performance in copper delivery is far superior to that of their counterparts in the USA. The worst NZ ISP is well ahead of the best USA ISP for Time of Day performance.
In this quarter there is a trend for some ISPs to have exceptionally large latency. This is caused by the very long path that data is sent on its journey to Sydney or Melbourne from New Zealand (via Hong Kong, or LA); and from the UK to New Zealand (via Hong Kong, then USA). At present, traceroute monitoring from our panelist's connections show the problem lies with Vodafone and 2Degrees, with Voyager caught up in similar delays due to their use of Vodafone's international connections.
Another 100% result, this time from first time reported Voyager 100Mb/s fibre panelists, who saw the 100Mb/s advertised speed or better at all times of day. There are now four broadband products where actual speed during March was faster than advertised speed at all times of day. These are:Vodafone 100Mb/s Vodafone 50Mb/s cable Voyager 100Mb/s fibre 2Degrees 30Mb/s fibre
Performance for all other products remains similar to previous months, continuing the trend of ISPs responding to having their performance tested and published continuously.
The continuing development of internet connections in the latest quarter has seen consistent improvements in performance. The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is growing by about 7% per quarter, these improvements are from wireless connections over Vodafone's 4G mobile links or Chorus' fibre to rural cabinets.
This quarter, Wireless RBI performance has reduced in the evening busy hour, but with higher speeds, this may not be noticeable.
Higher speed services, 100Mb/s and above, are showing signs of congestion for panelists on smaller ISPs, evidenced by speed reductions in the evening busy hours. Larger ISPs are still performing well, and appear to have congestion under control.
NZ website download times increased across all 2Degrees technologies compared to January, despite staying the same for Australian websites.
Spark 100Mb/s panelist tests have reached a sample size large enough to be reported separately, they have until recently been include in "Other ISPs". Spark results were better than many of the smaller ISPs, so "Other ISPs" as a group without Spark panelists now show a worse result.
ISPs connected through UFF continue to provide performance well above their advertised rate for the 100Mb/s services. At lower speeds, such as 30Mb/s, there is no substantial difference between LFCs for peak speeds. We report that almost half of TrueNet's panelists' using the 200Mb/s services consistently achieve better than 200Mb/s downloading from the Internet.
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.
Latency (delay) and Domain Name Server (DNS) response times are two background parameters that affect Web Browsing performance. There is a lot of focus on "Speed" in the media, though both DNS response time (time to find the IP address of the server) and Latency (time to receive a response from the remote server) influence the responsiveness of the internet. Latency (or lag) is very important to gamers, and DNS failures are very conspicuous when they occur.
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.
November performance for rural technologies is similar to our Urban report with a great perfomance all round for those areas where the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) has resulted in upgrades.
TrueNet is pleased to see that publishing performance measures has also impacted the Rural market.