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Third report on broadband quality

Media Release

Issued 23 December 2008/no 82


Commerce Commission releases third report on broadband quality


The third quarterly report on broadband quality has been released by the Commerce Commission. Commissioned from broadband measurement consultancy Epitiro and ICT analysts IDC, the report examines the quality of broadband service provided by New Zealand’s internet service providers (ISPs).


Commerce Commission Chair Paula Rebstock said, “The Commission is pleased to note that the report indicates there was a further improvement in the September quarter in the performance of the five largest ISPs.”


“It appears that increased competition in broadband has been creating incentives for ISPs to invest to improve the performance of their services through initiatives such as investing in international traffic capacity and caching,” said Ms Rebstock.


New Zealand’s rate of broadband growth over the past year has been one of the highest in the world. In the year to June 2008, New Zealand’s broadband growth was sixth highest in the OECD. Total broadband penetration was 20.4 connections per 100 population, marginally behind the OECD average of 21.3.


New Zealand’s broadband market is becoming increasingly competitive. Telecom’s share of the retail market is continuing to fall and local loop unbundling is proving popular in those exchanges where it is available.


The report is designed to provide New Zealand consumers, businesses and industry observers with independent measurements of the changes in the quality of broadband services over time in the chosen locations. The results should be viewed as indicative rather than representative of broadband performance across the country.


This report forms part of an ongoing data series that, over time, is intended to provide valuable information on service performance.

The full report is available on the Commission’s website www.comcom.govt.nz at Industry Regulation/Monitoring and Reporting.


Background


The Commission contracts Epitiro to provide the broadband quality reports. As part of Epitiro’s work in the area, Epitiro provides services to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) enabling them to benchmark customer performance across dial up, cable, broadband and wireless connections.


The ISP-I™ platform and technology from Epitiro emulates an Internet user’s activity across eleven sites in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. It measures twelve ISPs every fifteen minutes on a 24-hour basis across the eleven sites.

The platform gathers a range of detailed statistics on eight parameters – synchronisation speed, cached and non-cached HTTP download speeds, ping, connection speed, reliability, DNS and packet loss and email delivery times for independent analyses.


Amendments to the Telecommunications Act have explicitly empowered the Commerce Commission to monitor the performance of telecommunications markets and report on this work. Accordingly, the Commission has been producing regular monitoring reports, including reporting on the quality of broadband services.

ENDS

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