Fastest type of copper connection a better bet than fibre - Commerce Commission tester
VDSL - the fastest type of copper connection - is the best option for small office and home office users, says TrueNet, one of two broadband testing companies appointed by the Commerce Commission.
A VDSL connection can hold its own against fibre, September testing found (see charts right; click to zoom).
And TrueNet principal John Butt notes that VDSL contracts can be as little as 12 months - making it a good stepping stone before fibre arrives in your neighbourhood (or your ISP starts offering fibre - hello, Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear).
VDSL is the best option for small office and home office (or "Soho") users who have embraced cloud computing options such as Apple's iCloud, Xero, Google Docs and Dropbox, Mr Butt says.
TelstraClear's hybrid cable is rated a solid choice, but is restricted to parts of the Wellington region and Christchurch.
The bad news: you have to within 1km of the nearest phone exchange or cabinet to get VDSL (which sits top of the DSL food chain above ADSL and ADSL2).
Unlike fibre, peformance degrades rapidly with distance.
Also, a number of ISPs - most conspicously, Telecom, which holds roughly 50% market share - have yet to offer a VDSL option, Mr Butt notes.
That could help explain why although 68% of TrueNet's 400 or so voluneer testers live withing the 1km radius required for VDSL, only 16 have a VDSL account.