What's New at Actrix
NZ Broadband speeds largely determined by geography
Actrix is aware that many other ISP's will tell prospective customers their internet speeds are faster through them than their competitors.
In most cases this is not a fair and accurate representation.
By and large the infrastructure which is involved in delivering your internet service is delivered through either the Chorus network or the Telstra Clear network. Access to international websites involves the Southern Cross Cable which is owned by Telecom. Actrix buys wholesale services from these providers in sufficient capacity to deliver you the services you want.
"Certainly there are some ISP's who promote cheap services and buy less capacity and connect more customers onto that pipe, resulting in those customers getting a slower or degraded service" says Paul Heffernan, Actrix GM Sales and Marketing. "It is no different to people leaving a stadium after a big rugby game. Where there are wider exits, people flow more smoothly and get out quicker than where the exit is narrow and limited in how many people can squeeze through. The internet service is no different" says Paul.
The reference in the article to 'caching' of files in 2 locations is something that Actrix does do for its customers, to boost customer access speeds and reduce the reliance on distant international links.
Actrix now reprints an article which has recently been published in the NBR which highlights that geography plays a big part in determining the speed you get.
The majority of this article from NBR is reprinted below.
A study by Truenet (recently appointed the Commerce Commission's second official broadband tester) has found that on the internet, as in life, geography is destiny.
The closer your physical proximity to the Southern Cross Cable's landing point in Auckland, the faster your broadband is likely to be.
(The 50% Telecom-owned, Bermuda-incorporated Southern Cross Cable is NZ's only fibre optic link to the outside world, lands in the north Auckland suburb of Albany. It feeds internet exchanges in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Auckland is also home to of the most local domain name server or DNS - infrastructure. A DNS lookup is one of the most time-consuming elements of accessing a web page).
There were a couple of anomalies: Northland, where the UFB rollout is most advanced, was slower than expected, and Bay of Plenty faster.
Truenet principal John Butt said local capacity constraints could be a factor in Northland. There may be less contention (peak time clogged connections) in the Bay of Plenty than Auckland.
Truenet was recently appointed the Commerce Commission's second official broadband tester, joining UK-owned Epitiro.
Its study released this week is similar to one released in July 2011 by the Commission, in which Epitiro found a similar geographic spread:
Why is internet life (mostly) slower south of the Bombay Hills?
Butt explains: "The speed of webpage viewing is dependent on the time taken for many small files on a webpage to download.
"The speed at which these small files download is in turn dependent on latency [lag], which is limited by the speed of light.
"This is why location of the ISP file storage could be a major factor for webpage viewing times. Some ISPs have file storage centres (caches) in two places, some in just one, but usually only in Wellington or Auckland, rarely in the South Island."
All use the Auckland internet exchange, some also use Wellington, but few peer in Christchurch, Mr Butt says.
It would help South Island speed if more peered in Christchurch.
Reprinted from NBR