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Quicksilver calls for improved NZ broadband speeds

27 April 2006

Quicksilver calls for improved NZ broadband speeds

Wholesale broadband ISP Quicksilver Internet is calling for more action to improve the current broadband situation across New Zealand.

Quicksilver's helpdesk has this week been fielding a number of complaints, particularly from customers upgrading to faster broadband plans.

Feedback from industry insiders indicates that there is a nationwide problem, with many Telecom DSL exchanges seemingly subscribed at extremely high contention ratios. Currently Telecom allocates an average 24kbps per customer on the PVC link between Telecom and the ISP (this applies to all ISPs except Xtra), and this is creating congestion on many ISP networks, including Quicksilver's.

Quicksilver is additionally performing some network upgrades internally, to meet forecasted demand for the new broadband plans. This includes additional international bandwidth being added in the next few days, new network server infrastructure to allow load sharing and future scalability, and a request Telecom to increase the PVC link.

Quicksilver's managing director, Matthew Hobbs, says "Whilst we are performing some network upgrades this week and next, this may not resolve the speed problems for all customers. We are continuing to lobby Telecom to improve the contention ratios, and increase the backhaul bandwidth above the current 24kbps per customer. To our knowledge this has not been increased in 6 years, since the days of the Jetstart 128kbps product."

A recent figure quoted by Telecom states that across the country there is an 'average' contention ratio of 33:1. Matthew says "This leads us to believe that there are many telecom DSL exchanges which are currently being subscribed by Telecom at much higher contention ratios, leading to a degradation of service for many broadband users on popular exchanges. This is certainly consistent with the feedback from our users and other ISPs."

Quicksilver is working with a number of other wholesale broadband ISPs through the ISPANZ group to lobby Telecom and the government for further action to improve the current broadband situation in New Zealand. Upgrades to the Quicksilver network are expected to be completed within the next two weeks.


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