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Comparing TrueNet with Akamai Broadband Reports

Akamai Internet Speed Reports Ambiguous | TrueNet - The broadband monitors

TrueNet funded Report


Comparing TrueNet with Akamai Broadband Reports

Akamai publish a worldwide broadband ranking every quarter, last quarter they reported New Zealand has an average speed of 4.2Mbps. This number is due to be updated. TrueNet also measure broadband connection speeds, and find the average speed is 10Mbps. Measurements for both are correct, so why are they so different?

Akamai test the speed from any device anywhere, TrueNet test the speed of fixed line connections by technology available to homes and small businesses.

Akamai methodology

Akamai measure broadband speed by measuring the time it takes to download various files from their servers. These files include updates for software from Apple and Microsoft as well as iTunes content. We could expect these to be accurate - right? They are, but only if interpreted correctly.

Akamai average all technologies, location and time. Some examples of connection types that are used in the averages include:

• Software updates (potentially a faulty computer) over any connection, including dialup

• Music (potentially from a phone with an average 3Mbps speed)

• Software update over a "dongle", a mobile device plugged into a computer

• Cafe wifi connected computers - often limited speeds

• updates from corporate computers at up to 100Mbps

Akamai reports broadband speed in their Q4 2012 "State of The Internet" report as:

• Average Connection Speed (Mbps) = 4.0

• Average Peak Connection Speed (Mbps) = 19.2

• % above 10 Mbps = 2.4%

• % above 4Mbps = 37%

These results need to be interpreted. Akamai state "average peak connection speeds, which more closely represent the peak speed that an Internet connection is capable of reaching" ie the average of many connections maximum speeds, whilst the Akamai Average Connection Speed is the average of every single test.

TrueNet methodology

TrueNet measures speed from a Probe specially designed to measure speed, and located next to a volunteer's home modem. TrueNet knows the address, technology used, plan and ISP. No tests are over Mobile or wifi or accidentally over a corporate network.

TrueNet measures both the Peak Connection Speed as well as the Average Connection Speed, using over 700 tests/month for each probe, by technology and ISP.

Peak Connection Speed

The maximum speed achieved during the period. TrueNet has used the average of 5am to 6am tests as we usually find these are the fastest, when few users are on the Internet. ADSL & VDSL technologies provide broadband to 1.04m connections in NZ, 84% of the total of 1.24m, so we have compared these technologies. Similar data on cable & fibre is available in our monthly reports.


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