Chorus have stated on numerous occasions that Kiwis hunger for more Internet Data continues to rise, with more and more available on the Internet these days including live streaming of Television, Monitoring services, and much much more.
It has to be said that there is a large number of cheaper Internet companies out there. But many are selling below cost, or are compromising the service by limiting the bandwidth available for the customer. So how can you get the best Internet for you? We hear all about Gigabit Fibre now available, but in reality, it's not usually the case. Many of these Gigabit connections are only seeing a fraction of the speeds they are being sold. Or are they?
In New Zealand, there are many factors that are important to getting the best out of your Internet. If you are looking for a solid reliable connection, don't undercut and go for the cheapest options. Many of the cheaper providers are running at major losses, solely to build a larger customer base. This, of course, means something has to give.
Where you might have a 100MB Fibre Connection with Provider X, you might find a DSL alternative with Provider Z, would provide a better service.
The larger providers Vodafone and Telecom, have a large number of customers, and they aren't the most cost effective. But they have a large client base, and buying bandwidth to satisfy every client's need would ultimately cripple these companies. So what they do is buy x amount of bandwidth to be shared amongst the customers, In doing this they need to manage who can use what when. So when there is a peak period (In the evenings) then your Residential connection is more likely to not reach its potential.
In New Zealand, there are several ways to measure your internet, and several factors, Some are at the LFC Level, some at the Retailers Level, and even sometimes although less likely at the customers level. The biggest is generally at the Retailers Level. In New Zealand fibre is sold in general terms with a symmetrical 2.5Mbps Up and Down, regardless of the speed the fibre connection. This is the connection speed that the LFC Guarantees to the End User, from their equipment to the home. So that means although you may have a 50Mbps, 100Mbps, 200Mbps or even Gigabit speed, its only Guaranteed for 2.5Mbps. Then you add your retailers Bandwidth Management policies and you can almost Guarantee if you are with a Large provider, or a cheap one then you won't get the most out of your connection. Not saying that the more expensive connections are always better, but in general terms, your cheaper plans are often slower, more restrictive, and more subject to time of day.
On that last point we will look at alternative solutions where there is no competition or no real competition for to set a benchmark against.
The most likely connections by type to be affected by the time of day are actually connections managed by Vodafone, RBI or Fixed wireless using the Cellphone Towers, and Vodafone's FibreX (Available in Christchurch and Kapiti Coast, the old TelstraClear Cable network)
I Have seen on the Fibre X Max plan (Where they expect 700 - 900Mbps Down, and 90 - 95Mbps Up), receive only 40Mbps Down and 2Mbps Up, in peak times, where at the same time a VDSL connection just up the road got 50Mbps Down and 20Mbps Up (on old copper lines), at the same peak time. This is absolutely ridiculous and shows the way ISP's manage their networks.
Another example is the low-cost companies of Flip and Slingshot, compared to the higher end scale of CallPlus and 2talk, Both from the same Parent Company, provide differences in reliability, and speed. Most certainly if you require better speed/reliability to spend more.
Unlimited Internet (Provided by HD Net) is another company which states it provides New Zealand's cheapest internet, Well lets just say from what we are told the only good thing about them is their price and no contract. A few reports we have received that their internet drops in and out like crazy is slow, sometimes unbearable, but some stay with them coz its cheap. Some state they were with them for only a few days before looking for another provider.
Some of the smaller Datacenter providers are really feeling the pinch of the new need for more data and can't keep up, some seriously lacking and people leaving in droves for much larger data centres.
Everyone's needs are different, and sometimes Price is the number one factor, But if you are looking for a Reliable and Fast provider than it really comes down to what works best for you, who do you know has a unique provider and seeing their speed tests. But you can't guarantee the cheaper companies will be around forever. Many of the companies who provide solely cheap, no contract internet owe millions, because they have run at major losses just to try and build customer bases.
With winter fast aproaching, so does the need for more data. Many of you will be on Unlimited Plans, but is that really best for you? Is your provider the cheapest (If price is a factor)? You can check out Broadbandcompare.co.nz if you would like to compare prices, Does your provider do well in tests? True Net provides these tests, although I am not convinced on how accurate they are. Sometimes you may need to try a few providers before you find one you are happy with.
Published by D Blair, Hamilton