Download Speed - August 2015

Download Speed - August 2015

Speed (File Download Performance)

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 within 2MB of data.  Slower connections can test accurately with much smaller files. Our tests on ADSL can tolerate a file size of just 300k.

New Zealand tests take the best of each test run from Auckland or Wellington.   International tests take the result from each test run from Dallas, or Sydney. 

We compute a median hourly speed for each panelist's connection, then take the average of all probes to report the actual hourly speed by ISP.   Our reported measure is the average hourly speed as a percentage of the best hourly speed in the month.

International File Download Speed

TrueNet tests 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 congestion is likely to be observed.

Fibre & Cable

Chart 4: MyRepublic 100Mb/s service had the best speed from Australia this month, with Orcon down from almost 60Mb/s last month.  The range of speeds from Australia is very large, with the best ISP achieving over 50Mb/s, while "Other", a group of ISPs with many panelists, was well below 40Mb/s.  The critical USA speeds vary a lot also, with Vodafone Fibre best with over 15Mb/s and Other again last on less than 10Mb/s

The ISP with the best results for  30Mb/s Fibre seeems to change each month. 2Degrees did best this month, but Spark - best last month - now 3rd.

Vodafone 100Mb/s Fibre was fastest to the USA, with 30Mb/s and 100Mb/s services achieving similar results for the remainder of providers.  The range of speeds on 30Mb/s fibre connections is relatively small for both USA and Australia.

Vodafone Cable had the lowest average speed from each country compared to all fibre services, this is most likely due to their major problems with congestion in the wake of online Video growth starting in March.  Cable services became extremely congested in March and the situation has continued to worsen to the point that most of our 100Mb/s panelists consistently get less than 5Mb/s at some stage during the evening busy hours of 8 - 10pm.  Vodafone have publicly promised that work is proceeding as quickly as possible (we know it is a big task) with a target completion in September.  Most of our monitored connections are now (mid September) showing serious improvement, but there is still improvement to go, with the average mid-peak speed being about 50-70Mb/s.

Chart 4: Fibre, Cable File Download Speed - Dallas & Sydney


Copper connections (ADSL & VDSL) have a speed that is dependent on the distance between the home modem and the exchange equipment (also a modem) 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 ISP.  The speed reported is from the 8pm-10pm evening period.

Vodafone & Slingshot ADSL continue to show a consistently better speed to the USA than other ISPs.  

Vodafone again registered the best speed to Australia, as well as best to the USA of the ADSL providers.  ADSL results to Sydney slightly improved this month; VDSL largely the same.

Within the VDSL group, Bigpipe improved on last month, and Slingshot moved from 2nd to last, although remained by far the best for speed from the USA.

Chart 5: ADSL, VDSL File Download Speed - USA & Australia

NZ 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.

Technology Comparison

The Time of Day performance of DSL, Cable and Fibre services are compared in Chart 6. The result is indexed to the hour with maximum speed for each technology.

For the first time we are seeing consistent congestion on Fibre and DSL (copper) services with a notable "dip" between 8pm to 10pm.  There is a more general reduction in 100Mb/s fibre throughout the daylight hours starting at 9am, just after school has started.  Monitoring to show the differences between ISPs is shown below. 

Vodafone has started work to ease congestion issues on their cable network this month. This work has not progressed sufficiently to show in August results, we expect a partial improvement in September. 

Chart 6: Fibre, Cable, and Copper (DSL) Download Speed

Fibre - Cable ISP Comparison

Time of Day comparison of Fibre and Cable providers by ISP, Chart 7, shows very different results this month between providers.  

Spark fibre was consistent by Time of Day this month, unique amongst our sample of ISPs providing fibre.   

2Degrees and Orcon have an evening dip staying well below the advertised speed.   MyRepublic (now with sufficient panelists for long term reporting) and Vodafone fibre were well below advertised speed for most of the day. The remaining providers in "Other" having the lowest overall result.

Chart 7: Fibre & Cable Performance as Percentage of Advertised Speed

DSL Performance by Time of Day (ToD)

High Speed Copper (VDSL) File Download Speed

Almost all ISPs stayed above 95% of Max hour speed this month, highly consistent by Time of Day.   Slingshot results had a shorter, deeper speed reduction in the busy evening period.

Chart 8: VDSL File Download Speed by Time of Day

Low Speed Copper (ADSL) File Download Speed

Performance most hours is very consistent, with a few ISPs showing contention around 8-9PM. Slingshot, Flip & Vodafone slowed during the evening busy period - more so than last month, while iiNet (Australia) has improved.  We have 5 ISPs achieving better than 95% - BigPipe2DegreesSparkiiNet and Orcon

There may be residual evening capacity issues catering for the growth of online video, which future results will help clarify.

Chart 9: ADSL File Download Speed by Time of Day


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