Speed Comparison: VDSL vs ADSL

Speed Comparison: VDSL vs ADSL

TrueNet compared  the speed of ADSL and VDSL connections within our volunteer groups. 
This report was first published in 2012, and updated in December 2013.  
  1. A new report showing the change of speed by individual connections was published on 20th February 2014 here
  2. Another new report was published on December 15th 2015 on the status of VDSL in New Zealand

VDSL (availability map here)

We report Upload and Download speeds comparing performance with distance, between the DSLAM and the probe, for each of our VDSL probes.  
VDSL results show that for one connection, upload speed is faster than download speed.  This may be due to wireline electrical interference, but is more likely to be due to poor quality home wiring. 
Recommendation - get your premises wiring updated before spending on Fibre or VDSL.
VDSL upload speeds vary between 4Mb/s and 10Mb/s, compare that with ADSL, which has upload speeds between 0.6Mb/s and 1.1Mb/s.  ie VDSL upload speed is more than 10 times faster than ADSL.
Updated chart November 2013
Note the scales on both sides of the charts when comparing VDSL with ADSL.


To plot the ADSL performance in a way which provides scales suitable for our chart, we have limited the probes in this comparison to Telecom only.  Telecom has more rural customers than other ISPs, so some very long lines are included which provides interesting comparisons as the probes are ordered by distance between DSLAM and probe.
ADSL probe performance reduces when the probe is more than 1km from the DSLAM, and reduces more severely beyond 2km.  VDSL is restricted to a limit of about 1km from the DSLAM, but shows no signs of performance reduction over this distance - ie upload speed and download speed appear to be independent of distance.  

VDSL the Preferred Choice in Speed Comparison

VDSL is shown to be very much better than ADSL for both Upload and Download speeds for the same locations.  However, VDSL while able to be supplied by all ISPs, is limited to a few suppliers.   Note: Just two of the five ISPs featured in the TrueNet chart above have significant numbers of probe volunteers.

Our VDSL chart above demonstrates that speeds are independent of distance to the 1km maximum of our probes.  The restriction of a 1km limit for VDSL connections should be reconsidered based on TrueNet results.  Longer cable distances for VDSL are able to provide a far superior performance to that of ADSL.

Read more about VDSL compared to other technologies in TrueNet's regular monthly report here or follow us on Twitter or Facebook (NZ) We plan a new ADSL to VDSL experience story shortly.

You could play a part in the measurement of broadband performance in New Zealand by volunteering to be a panelist here.  

Or if you are visiting from Australia, we are also connecting volunteers here or Facebook



Details on how we measure are avalable on our Technical page
Speed - Throughput or the peak speed achieved during our standard test downloading an image from our test servers
Webpage Download - TrueNet maintains a Standard Testpage which is used for measuring the time to download the entire page.  This page is visible here, we use a copy located on our test servers for test downloads.
ISPs - TrueNet has probes measuring almost 20 ISPs but only reports on those where there are 5 or more probes working during any particular month.
ADSL, VDSL, DSL - the standard broadband service provided over a telephone line,  VDSL is a faster version than ADSL.  They use similar technology and backhaul, so sometimes DSL is used when referring to both.
Unlimited - A service where there is no monthly limit on the amount of data used.  Specifications for this service include that it may be "Managed" and have "performance reductions applied during peak demand periods".
DSLAM - the exchange or cabinet based equipment that your modem is connected to, over the pair of copper wires that are exclusively allocated to your premises.
Ethernet - The wiring used to connect computers to a network, typically an Ethernet cable is coloured blue, with small square connectors at each end.


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