Enable Beats Chorus & UFF to 100Mb/s

Last month, TrueNet published a study showing that consumers were not receiving the advertised speeds of their UFB connections. We are pleased to now report that one LFC, Enable, have resolved this issue at the beginning of November, with both 30Mb/s and 100Mb/s speeds being successfully delivered by ISPs within the Enable region.

Unfortunately, Chorus and UltraFastFibre are still not enabling their ISPs to deliver 30Mb/s and 100Mb/s to customers.

Background

LFC's provide the fibre connection to the household, which includes the equipment in the home, and the exchange to make the fibre work.  This is called Layer 2 and is delivered to ISPs at wholesale rates.  Until recently, LFCs have only provided 100Mb/s and 30Mb/s at layer 2 to the ISPs.  ISPs must then "repackage" the service to deliver Internet capability to their customers, this reduces the speed by a small amount.  This retail service is called Layer 3.

TrueNet measured actual speeds of transmission of a 1MB file and compared the results with advertised speeds.  In October, all probes reported less than advertised speeds by consistent amounts, being 94Mb/s and 28Mb/s, or about 94% of advertised speeds.  

Enable is the only LFC with most probes reporting equal to, or better than advertised speeds in November.

TrueNet intends to continue to monitor the difference between advertised, and delivered speeds for UFB connections, however we need volunteers.

November Speeds Improved

During November the speed of fibre connections during early morning hours, midnight to 7am, was significantly improved on most of those probes connected via Enable.

Almost all Enable-based 30Mb/s probes reported 30Mb/s or better, and almost half of the 100Mb/s probes reported 100Mb/s or better, however overall the average was slightly below the advertisied speed.

No significant change was recorded for other LFC's.

Chart 1. Comparison of performance as percentage of plan

Supplementary Details

For each ISP product, TrueNet calculates the median for each probe of the best download speeds from Auckland or Wellington, and uses the average of all probe medians.  Last month TrueNet measured the same details from our Wellington server only.

UltraFastFibre (UFF) results improved because one probe reached the advertised speed, but on average that was not enough to get UFF to 100%. 

Chorus 100Mb/s service is now lagging well behind the others, delivering only 87Mb/s.  From the data, this appears to be due to poor performance in two rollout regions.

We do not have enough Northpower probes to comment, although with a small increase in volunteers we could.

All tests are completed using Excess Information Rate (EIR) priority, which is referred to as low priority in product specifications.  

Layers Explained

For computer networks there are a number of what are referred to as
layers, in the most commonly accepted model (the OSI 7 Layer model)
which goes fromfrom Layer 1 which is the physical cable up to Layer 7
which is the application, like your web browser.

LFC's provide the fibre connection to the household, which includes the
equipment in the home, and the exchange to make the fibre work.  They
provide: Layer 1, the Physical layer which is the fibre, and Layer 2
which is Data Link layer, which is the most basic communications layer.
These are delivered to ISPs at wholesale rates.

Until recently, LFCs have only provided 100Mb/s and 30Mb/s at layer 2 to
the ISPs.  To make the LFC provided network usable for the Internet,
ISPs must add additional layers, Layers 4 and 3, Network and Transport
layers (more commonly known as TCP/IP).

Each additional layer requires more information to be transmitted, which
reduces the speed available to the end user by a small amount.

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