ComCom releases latest broadband quality report

Improvements are apparent in the latest survey

The Commerce Commission has released its report on New Zealand broadband quality covering the period 1 July to 31 December 2009. The report examines the quality of broadband services provided by ISPs.

In a media release announcing the release of the report, Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson is quoted as saying: “The focus of the report is on web browsing speeds because web browsing is the most common activity undertaken by internet users.”

The release notes: "Since the beginning of 2009, the cities tested, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, have shown an improvement in national web browsing speed. There has been a more significant improvement in international web browsing speed. The main reason for that improvement is the increased use by ISPs of caching techniques, which is the local storage of international content and therefore bringing content closer to end-users.

"National web browsing speeds are good in Auckland but slow markedly the further away test sites are from Auckland. This decline in speed appears to be caused by ISPs generally locating key equipment in Auckland. Domain Name Server (DNS) response times increase further from Auckland, contributing to the slowing of web browsing speeds.

"Web browsing speeds over the course of a day vary considerably among ISPs. Some ISPs are managing to keep their variation in web browsing speed within reasonable bounds while others have considerably slower speeds at peak times.

“The Commission’s intention with the report is that ISPs will be able to see their relative performance against their competitors in different locations and identify methods to improve that performance for the benefit of consumers,” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner. “To help achieve this, the Commission has developed a range of what it considers achievable performance benchmarks to replace the index that had been used in previous reports.”

These benchmarks include web browsing speeds, variability of speed throughout the day and the availability of service. Performance against the benchmarks identifies considerable room for improvement.

The full report is available on the Commission’s website atwww.comcom.govt.nz/broadband-reports

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