Geography is Destiny Dept: TrueNet, one of two broadband testers on contract to the Commerce Commission, says most ISPs offer faster speeds to their Auckland customers than those elsewhere.
The finding is nothing new, and not unexpected given New Zealand's only major broadband link with the outside world, the Southern Cross Cable, lands on Auckland's North Shore. The city is also home to our largest internet exchange and domain name server (DNS) infrastructure. Previous tests have found a similar result, with the fastest results in North Auckland, and the slowest in the deep south.
TrueNet principal John Butt does note one subtlety. ISPs can buy different amounts of bandwidth in different locations.
That means while most ISPs achieve faster speeds for their Auckland customers than those elsewhere, that's not always the case.
"Snap is based in Christchurch, but has many customers in Auckland," he wrote on TrueNet's blog, which offers more detail on his latest results, culled from hundreds of volunteers around the country.
"[Its] Auckland performance is much lower than the rest of New Zealand, probably due to capacity constraints to Auckland."
Snap general manager/retail James Koers disputed the result.
"We’re delighted to be recognised as the fastest ISP in the 'rest of NZ' category, as this shows our investment in network capacity nationally in 2012 is now paying dividends. It’s also great to see that we’re starting to be considered as a key player in the NZ ISP market," he told NBR ONLINE.
"We do however remain unconvinced by the supposed drop off in performance with our Auckland customers. This doesn’t match our own internal testing at all, and also doesn’t match with the positive feedback from many of our Auckland customers.
"We have a significant amount of network infrastructure in Auckland to service our corporate clients there, as well as substantial national backhaul and international capacity - especially since the Southern Cross Link link into Sydney went live last year." (Snap bought transtasman-specific bandwidth on the Sydney-Auckland-LA last year.)
TrueNet's Mr Butt responded, "We need a minimum of five probes to be published in a comparative article. The location of volunteers within Auckland is random based on a decision to get and maintain sufficient in the Auckland Region for Snap as well as for each of the other six major ISPs. I checked the performance by probe in Auckland for Snap and the published result is a fair representation."