WHEN it comes to Internet performance, it really depends on what end of the country you live in as to what speeds you can expect. According to the Commerce Commission’s latest broadband audit, based on testing by Epitiro, Aucklanders are enjoying the country’s top Internet speeds of 6Mbps, while Dunedin users put up with the slowest speeds: 3Mbps.
There are a number of factors affecting Internet speed, especially on Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) – that’s the network most of us use when we make a phone call or access the Internet on a broadband or dial-up connection. About 60% of all broadband lines in New Zealand are now enabled with ADSL2+ technology, but in order to get top speeds you must be within 2km of a telephone exchange.
If you do live close to an exchange and you’re not getting the speeds you think you should, then find out whether your ISP has ‘interleaving’ switched on. Interleaving is a way of managing the transmission of data over long copper loops, but the Commerce Commission report claims it means those living close to an exchange can suffer worse speeds.
If you’re not happy with your broadband performance, it might not be your ISP’s fault. The Commerce Commission’s audit lists these factors inside a home or business that can slow down broadband speeds:
The choice of broadband plan. If it’s an ADSL2+ plan (to date the fastest speeds on the ordinary copper phone line) you’ll only get the full benefit from a data plan that’s ‘maximum download, maximum upload’.
Satellite television services can hamper speed when the decoder is plugged into a telephone jack without an ADSL filter.
Faxes that are attached to a telephone jack – even if they are not operating and/or have an ADSL filter.
PC hardware specification and PC operating system configuration.
Applications and malicious software that may be running in the background on your PC.
The quality of your telephone wiring.
The number of cable pairs bundled together (for example, in a block of flats) and the number of those running broadband services.