The market for television and movies on the Internet (Over-the-Top-Technology, or OTT) suddenly took off this year, and March appears to be the month that demand started to impact supply.
While Most ISPs would have increased capacity to prepare for the extra demand, it would appear the balance of supply and demand we have seen for many months is no longer present. In March, both Vodafone and Slingshot had severe DSL performance reductions during the peak demand hours of 8pm to 10pm, while Snap and Spark also dropped significantly.
Netflix announced on March 3rd in Stuff that they were to launch Streaming Video services in New Zealand on the 24th March. With such short notice, ISPs had little time to forecast accurately, and install sufficient supply to meet demand.
In April, Vodafone Cable, Orcon & Slingshot all show a reduction in performance, at the time Netflix videos launched mid March. Our Youtube video download tests showed a significant drop in speed over that period. Note, these slower speeds may still be sufficient to view any video without interruption, depending on the connection speed.
The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) funded by Government is having an immense impact, halving download times for upgraded connections, but still not as good as urban broadband.
Older rural ADSL connections take more than twice as long to load webpages than RBI upgraded connections, and approaching 3 times that of Urban services.
TrueNet Broadband speed tests show surprising improvements in the consistency of ADSL performance in our third year of publishing results. What appeared to be excellent consistency of speed in December 2013, would now be uncompetitive.
TrueNet’s quarterly report on Local Fibre Companies (LFC) shows some degradation in speed since the last report in October 2014.
ISPs are increasingly raising their performance across many of the regular TrueNet test measurements. The exceptions include, ADSL & VDSL File Download speeds from the USA (Dallas) where Vodafone is well ahead of the rest, and the range of Latency results in this report.
The Quarterly Latency report shows Vodafone and Spark are best in Fibre, Snap and Vodafone in VDSL; while in ADSL the smaller ISPs of Flip, Bigpipe and Snap are all best by a large margin. Domain Name Server reponse times (DNS) continue to be dominated by Snap, first in every region.
Australian ISPs have consistently poor performances in the webpage download categories, as well as in latency tests, even from sites in Australia.
TrueNet's quarterly Rural Broadband report shows a big mismatch between standard rural and urban ADSL. In November, Panelists with Rural ADSL took twice as long to load our group of Live Webpages compared to Urban ADSL Panelists.
The average NZ broadband speed improved by 34% in 2014, from 10Mb/s to 14Mb/s. The acceleration is caused by increasing uptake of faster Cable, VDSL and Fibre services.
With the recent publication of Chorus customer numbers for each technology; the published data from MBIE on total fibre connections; combined with total market share of each ISP, TrueNet can now publish a reliable NZ wide speed calculation.
TrueNet's broadband performance measurements for October show that the Callplus brands of Slingshot, Orcon and Flip have very similar results, suggesting their network is almost fully merged.
Local Fibre Companies (LFCs) are finally delivering sufficient capacity for ISPs to achieve their advertised speeds, rather than underperforming at less than the advertised speed as was evident in test results last July.
BigPipe ADSL performance is outstanding with off-peak speed measured at 99% of their advertised speed (as fast as the network allows).
In our quarterly LFC Fibre performance comparison, UFF was the best averaging over 100% of advertised speed.
This month the first signs of congestion on UFB fibre connections show, with market leader Snap's average speed on its 100Mb/s product dropping by 10Mb/s in the evening. This reduces the 100Mb/s product to just 80Mb/s during the time most people use it.
TrueNet compared Latency and DNS and found little change. Snap showed up well in NZ response times, with a consistent top performance in local high-speed Latency, but was outperformed by BigPipe for ADSL. International Latency is not greatly different between ISPs, although Cable is particularly slow.
DNS performance prize goes to Snap, who stand out in almost all technologies as well as locations.
In August, new entrant to TrueNet's fibre measurement, Spark blitzed the UFB fibre results with a sizzling best for International file download speeds to Sydney, along with the quickest times to download both New Zealand and Australian Live webpages.
Bigpipe, was easily the best performer for DSL File Download Speed, maintaining hourly peaktime speed to within 99% of the off-peak speed.
Our report on upload speed compares fibre performance of ISPs for the first time, with Snap in first place achieving better than 45Mb/s at all times.