June 2016 Urban Broadband Report
MyRepublic not so Speedy
TrueNet tests show a consistent under-performance from MyRepublic 100Mb/s Fibre during the busy period after 4pm. We looked at their speed performance in detail and found that it is significantly below that of Spark, for all download destinations. Further, our data shows that the sample of NZ public websites downloaded from MyRepublic 100Mb/s fibre probes takes more than twice the time during the hours of peak usage than other ISPs we measure.
Copper connections continue to be offered in NZ with a 5 Star performance. All NZ internet providers show peak period speeds on copper (ADSL & VDSL) almost equal to off-peak speeds (better than 95% of maximum possible speed). Interestingly, our panelists in Australia get 4 Stars only, with a measurement of 94%.
Singapore Fibre Comparison
Latency last month
ISP performance trend
NZ Download Speed by Time of Day (ToD)
TrueNet uses feedback on our testing regime, please continue to assist by completing our survey here. Comments on articles are possible below if you are registered, but try our Facebook page
MyRepublic 100Mb/s Fibre
MyRepublic offer fibre over the UFB network in both 100Mb/s and 200Mb/s variations. TrueNet is able to measure the quality of the MyRepublic Internet connections with a good sample of panelists on the MyRepublic network. Testing regularly shows a very different performance to that of other ISPs for all panelist connections, so we decided to check the detail in a different way. Here are our results compared with Spark 100Mb/s service, the largest ISP.
Note that all MyRepublic probes, without exception, showed the same performance trends; and their download speeds from TrueNet's Sydney server are FASTER than those from the best of our Wellington or Auckland servers during the busy period of 4pm to midnight.
The MyRepublic speed chart shows NZ download speeds trending downwards during the day with performance impacted around 8pm in the evening (as low as 16Mb/s). Australian download speeds are reasonably steady, and stay within a 40-50Mb/s speed range. Download speeds from the USA are approximately 10Mb/s.
Contrast the MyRepublic 100Mb/s download results with those of Spark ( chart to the right) that show both NZ and Australia download speeds consistently are around 90-100 Mb/s. Spark Download speeds from the USA are also markedly different, ranging between 20-40Mb/s.
MyRepublic speed chart compared with Spark
Summary of Performance Measures
Again perfromance this month is very good for all Copper connection types - ADSL and VDSL, see our trend charts in the ISP Performance dropdown above. However the spread of performance for the time taken to download our NZ based websites on ADSL continues to be very large, with the gap almost double between best and worst.Table 1: Summary of Performance Measures
*Notes: Cable and Fibre speed comparisons show minimum hour (slowest) speed to Advertised Service Speed; ADSL & VDSL compare minimum hour (slowest) speed to the hour with maximum (As fast as your line will allow) speed. Due to problems with the Wellington test server during June 2016, NZ Speed results are from the Auckland test server to each test probe, although a new server commissioned mid June was used for about 50% of panelists.
If you are looking at changing ISPs for ADSL, then check out the differences between NZ and US websites, Slingshot stands out as the best for both.
For VDSL there is not much difference between any of the larger ISPs which are all excellent, matching Fibre performance. Smaller ISPs in the "Other ISPs" group are slower by a small amount.
With Fibre, average speeds are excellent for the larger ISPs. MyRepublic however slows a lot in the evening busy hour, over twice as long for NZ websites along with TrustPower which are being reported for the first time and are also slower in the evening.
Responsive website browsing is valued by most Internet users, and conversely, slow-loading sites can be extremely frustrating.
TrueNet tests Internet browsing by downloading a selection of Live Webpages from NZ, Australia, and the USA, measuring the time to fully download all files on the page. These pages are changed from time-to-time. This month there are 7 NZ pages, 3 Australian, and 9 USA pages (recently doubled to reflect survey opinions).
The charts in this section have three points for each ISP entry showing the Min. Hour (minimum time to download a webpage); the Max. Hour (maximum time to download a webpage); and the Median of all hours. The best ISP has a low median, and a short arrow showing the spread between peak and off-peak performance.
We download websites from each connection, and compare the average time taken to download them. This test replicates daily activity for many people, and we group the websites into regions, NZ, Australia and USA, so that readers can compare ISPs based on their own preferences.
Consistent improvements are showing in our study of NZ webpage download times. The change is evident in the medians all sitting very close in terms of average time to download for all Fibre, Cable and VDSL suppliers.
The spread of median performance by ISP for ADSL continues to be of concern, although has not deteriorated, with no change in order of ISPs.Chart 1: NZ Webpage Download Time - in seconds
|We download 9 popular US websites from each connection, and compare the average time taken to download all websites. This test replicates daily activity for many people, but to provide the ability for readers to compare between ISPs based on their own preferences, we group the websites into regions, NZ, Australia and USA.|
Our survey research shows that readers prefer us to focus on US websites, so we are in the process of increasing and modernising these to match the favourite websites of NZ users. The new websites are a bit quicker to download, so we cannot compare directly month to month. Further recruitment of volunteer panelists resulted in us being able to include 2Degrees again in ADSL.
Vodafone & Slingshot are easily the best for US based websites using ADSL, but the new 2Degrees result is well outside the average at twice the time to download the sample websites as the best ADSL ISPs. Smaller ISPs continue to have poor performance.
For all other technologies the results are very close, we do not believe any stand out.Chart 2: USA Webpage Download Time - in seconds
|We download 3 popular Australian websites from each connection, and compare the average time taken to download all websites. This test replicates daily activity for many people, but to provide the ability for readers to compare between ISPs based on their own preferences, we group the websites into regions, NZ, Australia and USA.|
This section is of less importance based on our survey results, and as can be seen, the variation between major ISPs is minimal.Chart 3: Australian Webpage Download Time - in seconds
For TrueNet's speed tests each panelist's probe regularly downloads a 1MB or 2MB file from Auckland, Wellington, Dallas and Sydney. The faster the connection, the larger the file we need to download to ensure that the maximum speed is reached during our test. 100Mb/s connections easily reach full speed before 2MB of data is downloaded. Slower connections can test accurately with much smaller files. Our tests on Satellite, Wireless and ADSL can tolerate a file size of just 300k.
International tests take the result from each test run from Dallas, or Sydney.
Our reported measure is the average hourly speed as a percentage of the best hourly speed in the month, this measures the ISP performance rather than the technology performance.
International File Download Speed
TrueNet tests File Download Speeds from our servers in Dallas & Sydney to measure performance to our international neighbours.
We ensure the download file is not held in New Zealand (cached), so that the test truly measures international performance. The results are selected from the 8pm to 10pm evening busy period, when any congestion is most likely to be observed.
New Zealand tests usually take the best of each test run from Auckland or Wellington. However, due to problems with the Wellington server, limited Wellington results are used this month.
Previous reports show the speed performance during the busy hour. This month we have included a Time of Day chart to show how performance varies. The previous results were the average of the 8pm and 9pm results below.
Fibre speed reduces in the evening to a peak usage low at around 9pm. This is visible with most ISPs downloads from Sydney, some show a more severe impact than others.
100Mb/s International Speeds
Vodafone Fibre performance improved significantly with no perceptable speed reduction, as well as a speed increase from last month (the 8pm to 10pm result was 60Mb/s for 100Mb/s fibre, this month it is around 75Mb/s at all times of day).
2Degrees, Spark and Orcon fibre remain much the same as last month. MyRepublic has dropped from about 42Mb/s to 50% of the advertised 100Mb/s service they offer. Voyager panelist numbers reduced below our limit for reporting.
Vodafone cable has dropped well below the advertised speed, now dropping to almost 20% of advertised speed (note this performance is impacted more by the loss of the Wellington server than any other).Chart 4: 100Mb/s Fibre & Cable File Download Speed from Sydney Australia
Slower Fibre Speeds (30 and 50Mb/s)
For these services it is easier to maintain the advertised speeds in NZ, and we are at a loss to understand why they are below 100% let alone down at 70%, or why Trustpower is down at 20% of their advertised 50Mb/s, ie equal to average ADSL speeds of 10Mb/s.
2Degrees is maintaining a speed close to the NZ advertised speed of 30Mb/s for their services.
Vodafone cable is dropping to below 50% of the advertised speed of 50Mb/s in the evening, but actually only reaching 70% during off-peak hours.Chart 5: Other Fibre & Cable File Download Speed from Sydney Australia
|Copper connections (ADSL & VDSL) have a speed that is dependent on the distance between the home modem, and the exchange equipment which means that ISPs do not have any influence on the peak speed of each connection. To overcome this limitation, the Australia, and USA speeds are referenced to the average NZ download speed of the respective ISPs. The speed reported is from the 8pm-10pm evening period.|
Continuing from last month Voyager prove to have by far the best download speeds from Sydney at 77% of the best speed of their panelists tests in NZ downloads.
Orcon at the other end have evening congestion causing a reduction in speed at 9pm from 50% to just 40% of their panelists best NZ download speeds. We no longer have sufficient panelists for BigPipe comparisons.Chart 6: VDSL ToD performance from Sydney Australia
We included TPG, our Australian ISP, (however unlike the heading, their test is from NZ) to show that they can beat the NZ ISPs at downloading across the Tasman.
All ISPs remain very close to their results in May 2016. however the chart does show the extent of potential congestion for Orcon, Slingshot & Flip (all Vocus owned, a specialist trans-tasman supplier)Chart 7: ADSL ToD performance from Sydney Australia
New Zealand File Download Speed
Comparing performance by time-of-day is important as it shows the service degradation when everyone is using the Internet during the evening hours of 8pm to 10pm. TrueNet uses the best of a pair of Auckland and Wellington download tests to calculate the median NZ results by hour over the month for each monitored connection. We take the average of all median results with each ISP for each hour.
A poor result typically shows the line drop below 90%, which usually occurs in the busy period between 7pm and 10pm, i.e. if this is true, the average user for that ISP is getting less than 90% of their line capability.
Technology comparison shows how much the poor performance for Other ISPs is impacting the overall result. No specifically named 100Mb/s fibre supplier has a performance as bad as the dark blue line in chart 8, because the poor result is due to the impact of panelists on Other ISPs. We plan to reduce the number of Other ISP panelists in the very near future.
The 200Mb/s fibre speeds are low as a percentage, but if you work it out, they are always above 100Mb/s, mostly sitting around 160Mb/s (80% of 200Mb/s)Chart 8: Fibre, Cable, and Copper (DSL) File Download Speed
MyRepublic continue to offer a product based on a great speed - about 110Mb/s, but tests from the NZ servers show that they are unable to maintain that speed with the speed reducing to just 16Mb/s in the evening when demand is highest.Chart 9: 100Mbs Fibre & Cable Performance from NZ
Chart 10: Other Fibre & Cable Performance from NZ
High Speed Copper (VDSL) File Download Speed
Another month with fabulous 5 star results from ALL internet providers.Chart 11: VDSL File Download Speed by Time of Day
Low Speed Copper (ADSL) File Download Speed
Another month with fabulous 5 star results from ALL NZ internet providers, only the Australian TPG is 4 star.Chart 12: ADSL File Download Speed by Time of Day
|Upload speed is important to users sending large amounts of data through the Internet, or loading files to the Cloud. TrueNet's upload test sends a 1MB file to our Wellington server, and records the results using a similar method to the download tests, but measured from Wellington only.|
Upload speeds on Fibre 20Mb/s are improving to better than the advertised speed.Chart 13: Upload Performance by Technology
Upload Time of Day Performance - by ISP
There remains little impact on upload speeds by time of day, suggesting NO congestion, users should find uploading at any time of day runs as fast as your line speed.Chart 14: Fibre & Cable ToD Upload Speed by ISP