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New Zealand 100Mbps fibre plans delivering 99% of promised speeds

The regulator is worried that Fibre Max speeds are only hitting 72% of advertised speeds, or around 650Mbps. Meanwhile, Australia weeps.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Chris Duckett/ZDNet

The New Zealand Commerce Commission (ComCom) has released the December edition of its Measuring Broadband NZ report, which shows the nation's Fibre 100 plans are hitting advertised speeds 99% of the time.

Including upload, the Fibre 100 plan is delivering 98.6/21.2Mbps in peak times, with Fibre Max plans giving 637/470Mbps in peak times, and VDSL plans delivering 43/12.6Mbps in peak times.

Fixed wireless connections had peak speeds of 22.7/15.8Mbps and ADSL delivered 9.1/0.8Mbps in peak times.

"The report shows Fibre 100 plans are delivering 99% of advertised speeds with all reported providers performing well. Overall, Fibre 100 plans are delivering a great internet experience to consumers," ComCom head of telecommunications Simon Thomson said.

"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."

In its advice, the Commission said Fibre Max plans are "unlikely to provide a noticeable difference over Fibre 100" unless half a dozen people are simultaneously streaming video. However, it also noted that when accessing overseas content on Fibre 100 plans, multi-user households could see a performance reduction.

Fibre Max plans, which deliver 1Gbps at layer 2, have been advertised to New Zealanders as delivering speeds ranging between 900Mbps and 950Mbps, depending on retailer. New Zealand has sensibly avoided the sort of brain worm thinking that has resulted in Australia's broadband wholesaler, NBN, choosing to over-allocate its plans to cater for TCP/IP headers.

At the lower end of those on Fibre Max, ComCom said the lowest decile only get 22% of advertised speeds, whereas the lowest decile on Fibre 100 can get 81.5% of promised speeds.

The regulator said the interconnect issue that hampered the previous edition of the report has been rectified.

In typical Kiwi fashion, the report included measurements conducted during the Rugby World Cup, in which New Zealand failed to defend its title, and found little impact of streaming the matches on the nation's network. Using Netflix during the All Blacks versus South Africa match was the only significant blip, and resulted in connection performing at 97% as well as usual.

ComCom said it would like people in Christchurch, Hamilton, and all rural areas across New Zealand to sign up to provide a wider range of data.

Compared to the steady numbers in New Zealand, the Australian broadband market continues to resemble a continent-sized bin fire.

The equivalent Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reported in November that only three ISPs were able to increase the bandwidth percentage delivered during busy periods in its latest broadband speed-monitoring installment.

Optus is now the leader with 87.6% of advertised speeds delivered, followed by TPG on 86.3%, Exetel with 84.8%, Aussie Broadband on 84.2%, MyRepublic with 84%, and Telstra with 83.8%. Bringing up the rear is iiNet on 82.6% and Dodo/iPrimus sitting on a measly 76.4%.

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