Rural Broadband Users: Are they missing out?
Rural Broadband Neglected
TrueNet measures broadband in both urban and rural locations. Standard (Full Speed) Rural ADSL speed performance has declined in the last 2.5 years while at the same time Urban ADSL performance has increased markedly.
Rural broadband users see their speed drop in the evenings to just 82% of the speed the connection is capable of. This will often mean websites do not download, files take a long time to appear, or even fail to be delivered due to timeouts.
In recent years, there has been much media hype around the promise of faster Broadband services to households - specifically Cabinetisation, UFB, RBI, and Mobile Broadband (LTE) improving access speed for NZ consumers, and rightly so.
• Cabinetisation = Extending fibre to a cabinet which is closer to homes enabling VDSL to 80% of homes in urban and rural areas.
• UFB = A government sponsored fibre rollout to small numbers of urban homes
• RBI = A government sponsored combined wireless/ADSL rollout to rural homes
• LTE = The latest version of mobile technology, limited to urban centres
As seen in a TrueNet report from April 2014, ADSL performance has improved in the past two years. The current migration to Fibre in UFB zones and VDSL in Urban cabinets provides an easy and economic upgrade for many users. But none of these changes improve the lot of the typical Rural user.
In this report, TrueNet looks at the relative performance of Rural ADSL (not RBI, but existing technology over copper lines), Urban ADSL, and Rural RBI volunteer connections.