Not just about speed – Kiwi ISPs put Aussie TPG to shame

TrueNet gathers data from an army of volunteer ‘panellists’ who install a TrueNet monitoring device on their broadband services

TrueNet has released the latest results from its ongoing monitoring of consumer internet usage saying the show download times for Australian and US web sites experienced by Australian users on TPG’s ADSL services in Sydney and Melbourne are greater than those for any NZ ISP it measures.

TrueNet gathers data from an army of volunteer ‘panellists’ who install a TrueNet monitoring device on their broadband services that report service performance regularly to TrueNet.It has not included data for any other Australian ISPs and says it needs more panellists. “We have a small panelist group in Sydney and Melbourne on TPG and are trying to get a few more on Telstra.”

TrueNet says it tests Internet browsing by downloading a selection of live web pages from NZ, Australia and the USA, measuring the time to fully download all files on the page.These pages are changed from time-to-time. In October there were seven NZ pages, three Australian, and four US pages.

It said: “TPG is a major Australian ISP, but their performance downloading Australian websites (from Australia), demonstrates how far behind NZ they are, with all NZ ISPs having a far better performance for downloading the same Australian websites.”

TrueNet says it has focussed on web site download performance this month because speed is now sufficiently reliable in NZ that the total user experience has become the critical measure, and it is investigating using other measurements to demonstrate the differences between ISPs.

Commenting on the latest results, TrueNet said: “The major point we noticed this month is the gap opening up between NZ ISPs and our sample Australian ISP TPG. This is despite the impact of the distance across the Tasman.

“To make it more difficult for Australia, our ADSL and VDSL average speeds (over 200 panellists with more than 150,000 tests) improved to 11Mbps for ADSL, while VDSL improved to 35Mbps average. With the increasing number and speed of fibre and VDSL connections the NZ average speed is approaching or exceeding the Australian ‘target’ of 25Mbps.”

TrueNet found service speeds (bandwidth) having little impact on download times, with some high bandwidth services performing worse than lower bandwidth services.

“Fibre 30Mbps and 100Mbps services yield similar results, with Spark 200Mbps appearing to take longer than the 100Mbps service, as reported in August,” TrueNet said. “Vodafone’s 100Mbps cable is conspicuous due to longer webpage download times than fibre 100Mbps services, as well as more spread between max and min times.”

It found “Vodafone ADSL website performance [to be] worse than all other ISPs,” noting that Vodafone is updating its technology to allow higher speeds, but saying this has not yet translated into improvements in website download times.

Vodafone cable service also performed poorly in comparison to others, averaging around 50 percent of advertised speed most of the time, while others were in excess of 80 percent.

“Vodafone Cable results [for downloading Australian web pages] are slow throughout the day, down on September where they reached over 60 percent during off peak hours. However, October results (over 40 percent) are better in the evening compared with September where they were just 36 percent,” TrueNet said.

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