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Bill Bennett


NZ fixed broadband speed fall behind pace

According to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report New Zealand ranks number seven in the world for average peak mobile broadband speed.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, Akamai clocked NZ mobile broadband at a respectable 75.4 Mbps. That’s a long way behind Australia, which takes the top slot with its blistering153.3 Mbps average peak speed.

New Zealand’s average mobile broadband speed is 7.4 Mbps. That’s better than average but behind Australia which gets an average 8 Mbps.

While New Zealand is among the front-runners for mobile broadband speeds, it is falling behind the pace in fixed line broadband.

This is despite the billions of dollars being invested in new networks and the improved uptake of fibre services. The only consolation is that we are pulling further ahead of Australia which is now something of a fixed-line broadband laggard.

Akamai Summary q4 2015

Akamai says New Zealand moved up one slot over the last quarter in the global table for average connection speeds. We now rank at 41 in the world with an average connection speed of 9.3 Mbps.

Our year-on-year average connection speed increase of 27 percent means we are doing a little better than keeping pace with the rest of the world. The global average connection speed climbed 23 percent in the last year to 5.6 Mbps.

Australia now ranks 48 with an average connection speed of 8.2 Mbps. The gulf between mobile and fixed line performance in Australia is bigger than anywhere else.

Average peak connection speeds in New Zealand are up 25 percent on a year ago to 42.8 Mbps, but that only gets us to 53rd place in the global table. In the previous quarter we were at 45.

The global average peak connection speed climbed 21 percent to 32.5 Mbps. Singapore tops the list with 135.7 Mbps.



3 thoughts on “NZ fixed broadband speed fall behind pace

  1. One thing to note is that there are lots of different speed data sets around and that each has its own specific methodology and bias. Here’s a link to a good explanation of what Akamai are actually measuring and the associated caveats https://blogs.akamai.com/2013/04/clarifying-state-of-the-internet-report-metrics.html

    The key point is that Akamai measures the speed of individual web transactions between a device and their content delivery network (CDN). They don’t aggregate all simultaneous transactions coming from the same IP address source and don’t measure transactions with other servers or CDNs.

    Mobile phones are typically used by one person at a time and for one application at a time, so the speed Akamai measure is probably pretty accurate. The large difference between the peak mobile speed and average mobile speed is probably a good reflection of the variable nature of mobile network performance – coverage, interface and other mobile users impact the actual speed the network provides.

    Fixed broadband connections are typically used by many people in the household with lots of devices and simultaneously running applications, with content coming from CDNs other than Akamai, for example Netflix doesn’t use Akamai. The average fixed speed doesn’t take these realities into account so I’m not really sure that they have any real meaning. The peak fixed speed has more meaning and it’s probably a good reflection of what the fixed broadband network in New Zealand actually provides.

  2. There are likely to be other factors influencing thoughput changes as seen by Akamai

    Firstly the Chorus network is contended, so at peak times households in the same geographic regions will be competing for a share of the agregate regional bandwidth available. Whilst I do not have access to the data, it is likely the gross bandwidth available to fixed broadband users is not increasing as fast as the capacity investment occurring in mobile in higher density urban areas.

    Secondly NZ is largely stuck in a fixed broadband technology, that is ADSL. So unlike mobile the peak fixed access capacity is not currently changing for the majority of consumers. As Ufb continues to roll out and take up rises, this will accelerare.

    Thirdly even when UFB is taken up, it is likely more househokd devices will remain using Wifi , with many household devices and home access points running at suboptimal speeds due to the location of the wifi in the home relative to content devices like the TV, and supported WiFi, devices and/or APs only supporting earlier wifi standards, eg 11g . The investment in all devices in the path for fixed broadband is unlikely to being matched by the mobile investment occurring.

    I would hypothesize that mobile devices are on average keeping greater pace with mobile access technology improvements, certainly the ones more frequently accessing richer content hosted by Akamai via the mobile network. The mobile devices using Wifi in the home will be constrained by the fixed network outlined and seen as fixed by Akamai.

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