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Broadband report shows continuing quality improvement

Media Release

Issued 20 December 2010/no 79

Commerce Commission latest broadband report shows continuing quality improvement

The quality of New Zealand’s broadband services are continuing to improve according to a report released by the Commerce Commission today. The report, covering from 1 January – 30 June 2010, aims to provide a comparison of the relative performance of internet service providers (ISPs) in delivering broadband services in the major New Zealand cities.

“The report shows a continuing reduction in variability of web browsing speeds over the course of the day. Internet availability is also improving, with downtime reduced,” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner. “The report also shows the benefits of local loop unbundling which continues to provide greater choice and better services for consumers.”

The key developments in the delivery quality of broadband services include:

The variability of web browsing speeds over the course of the day reduced considerably, particularly for ISPs who performed poorly in the last report.

Internet availability continued to improve and only one ISP failed to meet the Commission’s monthly availability benchmark of 99.9 per cent1.

Vodafone had a noticeable improvement in web browsing performance in Auckland.

TelstraClear’s cable broadband service continued to show materially faster national browsing speeds than DSL broadband plans in test locations where it was available.

Web browsing speeds for ISPs who have unbundled Telecom exchanges improved to being around 20 per cent faster than access provided using Telecom Wholesale services for the

last two months of the measurement period. The Commission will continue to monitor unbundled service speeds to determine whether the speed trend is consistent over future measurement periods.

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

Background

Amendments to the Telecommunications Act 2001 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.

This broadband quality report is part of a continuing series measuring broadband performance. The Commerce Commission has undertaken the analysis of the underlying data provided by Epitiro Technologies Limited.

Epitiro Technologies Limited is a company with experience in internet performance benchmarking. The Commerce Commission contracts Epitiro to provide the data for these broadband quality reports. As part of Epitiro’s work in the area, Epitiro also provides services to 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. The sites are located 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 seven parameters – synchronisation speed, cached and non-cached HTTP download speeds, ping, DNS, packet loss and email delivery times for independent analyses.

ENDS

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