ISP Speed Trend

February 2017

Trend of Busy Hour Peak Speed

TrueNet runs broadband speed tests every hour of every day on internet connections.  We download a file every hour of every day from all panelist connections, we have 400 panelists.  Copper (ADSL and VDSL) speeds are very dependent on the length of the copper connection, ie the distance to the local exchange equipment that delivers ADSL or VDSL.  ISPs cannot influence maximum speed, only line congestion, which shows as a decrease in speed on any connection at some time during the day (ToD), usually 9pm when most people are busy on the internet.  We show the results at that time.

The best ISP is the one that consistently has the highest minimum hour for the month, ie they consistently provide a speed during the evening busy hour that is closest to the fastest the line will allow.   On charts 1 & 2, the performance measures show the Minimum average speed of all panelists connections as a percentage of the Maximum average speed (also known as the advertised speed).

We experience many complaints from panelists of unusable performance if the average drops below about 75%, so we consider 70% the natural zero, while some users find performance is impacted if performance falls below our 90% target.

Notes that may explain the major dips in performance in previous versions:

  1. Netflix, the world leading internet movie supplier was introduced to New Zealand in March 2015.
  2. Lightbox, Spark's movie service, was introduced in July 2014
  3. Slingshot introduced Global Mode in June 2014
Click on these links for price comparisons


  1. ADSL ToD
  2. VDSL ToD
  3. Fibre and Cable


Chart 1: Trend of ADSL Peak Speed by Time of Day, worst indexed to best speed


Chart 2: Trend of VDSL Peak Speed by Time of Day, worst indexed to best speed


Fibre & Cable (Wellington & Christchurch only)

Note that for December 2016 data we have changed the measure, data past the ugly black line represents the percentage of the best speed at any time of day - ie the same as ADSL and VDSL.  However we have left previous data which is based on the percentage of "Advertised" speeds, because the history has value.

Chart 3: Trend of 100Mb/s Fibre & Cable Peak Speed by Time of Day, worst indexed to best speed

How these charts are built; To be fair to ISPs, we take in order;

  1. The median speed of tests, conducted at the same hour each day to find the representative speed of each connection at each hour for the month.  Usually ~30 tests per connection
  2. The average of these medians for each ISP and each technology.  Usually ~30 panelists
  3. We look for the maximum average of the medians
  4. We divide the average in (2) by the Maximum (3) for an index of each hour to the fastest hour

More performance comparisons here:


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