Latest broadband tests reveal 10% drop in performance of high-speed fibre plans

The Commerce Commission’s latest Measuring Broadband New Zealand report, from independent testing partner SamKnows, reveals a 10% drop in the peak time broadband speeds of high-speed Fibre Max plans since the last report.

“While Fibre Max plans are achieving the fastest download speeds of the plans we test, this deterioration is a concern given the premium price consumers pay for this service,” Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson says.

“The drop in performance is apparent across all retailers and wholesalers. Testing shows there is also significant variation in results for these plans. For example, Fibre Max plans are around 200 Mbps slower in the South Island than in the North Island.

“We are continuing our work with SamKnows and industry stakeholders to understand the reasons for these variations and the drop in speed. We expect this will result in providers achieving average performance that is more in-line with advertised speeds.”

With the exception of Fibre Max, testing shows that overall internet performance has remained stable, despite changes in broadband use as a result of COVID-19.

The latest report also looks at broadband video conferencing performance for free accounts for the first time.

“The tests show fibre is best at supporting uninterrupted video calling via increasingly popular platforms including Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom. Meanwhile, copper and fixed wireless plans were more likely to experience delays during a call,” says Mr Gilbertson.

“COVID-19 has highlighted how important having good home internet is for work and keeping in touch with family and friends. The more volunteers we have, the more detailed we can make our reports and the more we can do to lift internet performance for all New Zealanders.”

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