Tuesday, 17 December 2019 10:58

NZ fibre broadband plans delivering 99% of advertised speeds, says Commerce Commission Featured

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New Zealand’s competition regulator The Commerce Commission says a new Measuring Broadband results report shows the country’s fibre 100 broadband plans are offering high speeds and “reliable internet performance” across all tested providers and regions, and delivering 99% of advertised speeds.

The latest Measuring Broadband report from broadband testing provider SamKnows breaks down Fibre 100 plans by service provider and regions for the first time.

“Overall, Fibre 100 plans are delivering a great internet experience to consumers,” head of telecommunications Simon Thomson said.

"And the report shows that the more expensive and faster Fibre Max plans are delivering average download speeds of 658 megabits per second - more than six times the speed of Fibre 100 and significantly faster than copper (ADSL and VDSL) and fixed wireless technologies.

“While Fibre Max plans are achieving fast download speeds, we are concerned that they are only delivering 72% of providers’ advertised speeds. We caution providers to ensure they can back up their speed claims and will be monitoring this closely in future reports.”

The testing month for the latest report was 15 September to 14 October 2019, coinciding with the Rugby World Cup.

“All our measurements indicated that despite heavy demand during the testing period, including during the All Blacks vs South Africa game, there was little impact on consumers’ experience of the wider internet,” Thomson said.

The Commission says the enhanced broadband monitoring program is helping to build a picture of what broadband is best for different households:

  • ADSL: supports basic web browsing and video streaming.
  • Fixed wireless (4G): higher download speeds than ADSL. However, can experience stuttering and drop-outs for video calls and gaming.
  • VDSL: supports more intensive internet use, but not as reliable as fibre. Households with multiple users should consider fibre if available.
  • Fibre 100: much better for ultra HD streaming and intensive applications like gaming for multi-use households and will accommodate the demands of most heavy users. All tested providers offer reliable service across the country.
  • Fibre Max: highest speeds but unlikely to provide a noticeable difference over Fibre 100 unless 6 or more users are streaming video at the same time.

“The more volunteers that sign up to take part in the programme, the more detailed we can make our reports. We’re still on the lookout for volunteers on Vodafone’s cable products, and volunteers on all technologies, plans and providers in Christchurch, Hamilton and in rural areas,” Thomson said.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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