Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Average NZ broadband speed jumps 23% — report

Our average could be far higher, but most are still ignoring the UFB fibre on-tap.  

Tue, 29 Dec 2016

It might not feel like it each time Netflix freezes, but New Zealand's average broadband speed is 23% faster than around this time last year, according to the latest installment of Akamai's State of the Internet report.

The company -- which provides content delivery for streaming video on-demand services worldwide -- says the average New Zealand connection now has an average bandwidth of 8.7 Megabits per second, compared to last year's 7.1Mbit/s.

That ranks us 42nd in the world, the same as last year.

Number one is South Korea on 20.5Mbit/s.

Australia's average jumps 13% to 7.8 Mbit/s, moving it one place up the leaderboard to number 46.

Much greater speeds are on tap for many New Zealanders. With the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) rollout now more than half way complete, more than 815,000 homes, schools and workplaces can now connect to the super-fast public-private fibre (available in a mix of 30, 50, 100, 200 and 1000Mbit/s plans. But as of November, only 16.4% of those within reach of the UFB had chosen to connect (for more on that point, read Three reasons uptake has been lousy so far).

Akamai also reports on what it calls "average peak speed", taking the fastest speed achieved by each line surveyed then averaging them (typically this was for a large file downloaded outside the internet's busiest hours rather than day-to-day surfing).

NZ registers an average peak speed of 42Mbit/s, placing it 45th. That's quite a thumping speed; enough to download a couple of HD movies at once while someone else in your household or office does some high def videoconferencing and backs up all their files to the net. But Akamai gives no indication of the mix of lines surveyed. Certainly no one in my Auckland neighbourhood achieves that sort of average peak. Wtih UFB fibre still a couple of years away, and VDSL not an option, households around me (like around half the country) top out at less than half that; often much less.

Akamai also says 87% of New Zealand lines have an average speed above 4Mbit/s (placing us 25th in the world by that metric).

22% average above 10Mbit/s (40th).

And 8.2% of our lines average above 15Mbit/s (37th); number one placed South Korea has 45% of its lines averaging above that mark.

This Akamai report has not broken out speeds for connecting ton international vs domestic services, but previous installments have found connections to offshore sites and services far slower. The launch of Netflix NZ, Neon and Lightbox put local bandwidth under pressure earlier this year, but performance was improved largely through caching (keeping local copies of popular content).

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Average NZ broadband speed jumps 23% — report