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NZ fibre technology shows superior speed

18 Oct 2013

Fibre Speed results are consistently faster than other access technologies although, for the first time, congestion is apparent on the 100Mb/s service for Orcon and Snap.

That's according to the latest TrueNet Broadband report for September 2013, which claims testpage download times show Cable and Fibre results to be faster than DSL, but the Cable 100Mb/s service has considerable variation in average speed.

Latency is also generally better with smaller ISPs and faster access technologies, while Domain Name Server (DNS) response times show a trending result with Fibre ahead of the rest, although one ISP can deliver DNS over ADSL with the same performance as Fibre.

Capped & Uncapped ADSL Speed

In September's report Capped & Uncapped test results have been combined, as the performance of both is very similar.

ADSL tests are based on a Wellington 300k file downloaded every hour by every ADSL probe.

The change in location of TrueNet's Wellington testpage may have an impact on performance compared to previous months, because the testpage is now connected to WIX directly.

The top performers are Orcon, Telecom and Snap, with Orcon achieving improvement due to a significant level of investment in backhaul.

Although Vodafone's ADSL service is the slowest of the ISPs reported, their performance during the slowest hour has improved from last month, to exceed 90% of their maximum speed by time of day, almost matching Slingshot and Xnet.

VDSL Speed

VDSL test results are based on the average of Auckland and Wellington 1MB files downloaded every 5 hours by every VDSL probe.

Unfortunately we now have too few Voyager volunteers to report results. We would like more to volunteer here.

New VDSL connections take time to reach full speed and reliability. Telecom's VDSL volunteers are all very new connections due to the service being offered for the first time in July.


Fibre tests, like VDSL tests, are based on the average of Auckland and Wellington 1MB files downloaded every 5 hours by every Fibre probe.

September results suggest traffic congestion with the 100Mb/s service for Orcon. (Edited 10am, 15th Oct, due to gremlin - chart referenced wrong data)

Orcon's 30Mb/s service is proving to be consistently faster than Snap's.


Cable tests are also based on the average of Auckland and Wellington 1MB files downloaded every 5 hours by every Cable probe.

Cable services speeds can vary due to local traffic within the street that each volunteer is located. Unlike all other technologies which compete with other traffic at the exchange.

The 15Mb/s service is showing some congestion at 9pm, when the average speed of all probes drops to just 82% of the best speed of 12.7Mb/s.

Webpage Download Time - Test Pages

TrueNet tested many more live pages in September than in previous months. To fit them all onto a single chart we separated them into two groups, testpages and live pages.

The charts show time to download all pages, measured in seconds and summed together in a total download time.

Testpages are slightly faster on Cable and Fibre, and between the two, show similar total download times. The sample size for Maxnet is too small to be included in this analysis - we need more Maxnet volunteers.

VDSL & ADSL testpage results are similar, but Snap VDSL stands out as quickest overall, with Slingshot the best ADSL.

Telecom are slowest due to the time taken to download international testpages, otherwise they are one of the quickest to download NZ pages with their VDSL services.

Caching of international pages seems likely for Vodafone, and Slingshot.

Live Webpages

The live webpages we downloaded in September include a few pages from very popular websites (Trademe, Stuff & AirNZ) and a selection of banks. The sample size for this analysis is limited to those volunteers allowing larger samples to be collected, this reduces ISPs further thus eliminating Xnet.

Fibre is a lot quicker than other technologies, with Orcon faster than Snap.

Vodafone Cable is similar to ADSL.

Telecom & Snap VDSL services download webpages faster than their respective ADSL services, suggesting a consistent advantage to VDSL over ADSL for browsing.

The range of results for ADSL is large, with Snap quicker than all other ISPs.


There is no noticable change from last month.

Telecom VDSL shown for the first time, is similar to Snap for NZ & AU, and a lot better than their own ADSL result. Telecom's USA VDSL result is a little better than their ADSL.

Domain Name Server (DNS) Response Time

The conversion from a Website URL to its IP address can slow webpage download times. Investment in more local DNS servers improves performance.

TrueNet measures DNS response times to provide additional information about the variables contributing to webpage download delays.

Chart 8 and 9: For this report TrueNet measures the time it takes to receive a response from all ISP DNS servers, and records the best result for each hourly test. Chart 8 splits results by ISP and Chart 9 splits them by Technology.

Missing bars indicate insufficient probes in that region.


Orcon are best in Wellington & Waikato, Snap are best in other regions.

Snap, who despite being located in Christchurch, have the fastest DNS reponse time in Auckland.

By Technology

In summary, faster technologies are quicker at DNS lookup. ADSL is always worst in all regions, with Cable coming in second.

Fibre has the best DNS lookup times, although Snap's Canterbury & Auckland ADSL lookup time is quicker than Fibre from Wellington.