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Topic # 100561 13-Apr-2012 13:55 Send private message

TrueNet published the monthly broadband statistics today.  TelstraClear Cable remains best in the both categories, browsing and throughput.  Telecom best at DSL provision in both browsing and throughput.  

Vodafone equal best in browsing, not so good with throughput. 

WorldxChange & Snap equal best with Telecom in throughput, not so good in browsing.

See the report here:
https://www.truenet.co.nz/articles/truenets-march-report-isp-broadband-speed

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  Reply # 608824 13-Apr-2012 16:08 Send private message

Last August John said "hey, VF you suck"[1]... so they fixed it.

Telecom are very constant, but all the other ISPs are all over the place other than Telstra Clear cable.

I'm left wondering if we need some regulation to balance out the market?

Do we need to see a massive move from Telecom to the other big 4 or 5 so that everyone is on a more level playing field?

But how do we force that? How do we regulate it?

It's a great idea, shore up the smaller companies so consumers have a real choice of good providers.

From a consumer point of view this is the best idea.

But what does is say about private property rights? How do we compensate Telecom owners if we force customers away from Telecom with regulation? Or by buying telecom shares two decades ago, were those owners told then that this was always the market intention and in fact they've had more than a good enough run?

But then I have to question where we send those customers to?

Telstra? The phone company owned by Australia, that's a bit like saying we'll just sell the AB's to Australia.

Orcon? But that's owned by the public, we can't use regulation to just take back land... oh... or can we ;)

Snap or Slingshot? Seems like a good option, owned by some local kiwi guys, local support desk, proven track record... but didn't that discribe Saturn until they got brought by Telstra? So we force customers off one public company, on to a private company for it to be bought out by a big public company....


... oh this is just so complex... I think I'll just stay with my current provider and go fishing... with the Telecom CEO ;)

Have a nice Friday.

D



[1] No his real words, just my fun Friday afternoon interpretation of Johns graphs.




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  Reply # 608829 13-Apr-2012 16:13 Send private message

Telecom are very constant, but all the other ISPs are all over the place other than Telstra Clear cable.

I'm left wondering if we need some regulation to balance out the market?

Do we need to see a massive move from Telecom to the other big 4 or 5 so that everyone is on a more level playing field?

But how do we force that? How do we regulate it?

It's a great idea, shore up the smaller companies so consumers have a real choice of good providers.

From a consumer point of view this is the best idea.


not too sure what you mean. are you implying that the other telcos generally don't perform as well because of some lack of regulation?

tbh the differences are marginal for the most part anyway, but interested to hear your rationale for that.

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  Reply # 609017 13-Apr-2012 21:07 Send private message

NonprayingMantis: not too sure what you mean. are you implying that the other telcos generally don't perform as well because of some lack of regulation?

tbh the differences are marginal for the most part anyway, but interested to hear your rationale for that.


The regulation needs to be that no single retail provider can have more than 20% market share and no more than 25% of the market can be consolidated into the same systems.

So this would mean that Telecom would have to be split into 3 new retail companies all their their own much smaller systems. 

This way all the providers are on a much more even footing and marketing scale compares to give all the providers more chance.

I will explain a little....

Say Telecom with 600,000 customers spends $2 a month on marketing, that's $1.2m for marketing.

So, to compete with Telecom with the same exposure in the market, Telstra also needs to spend $1.2m

However, with only 200,000 customers this means that they're spending $6 per customer, this of course means that there is much less money to spend in other things like pure service delivery.

Further, the buying power from SCX with 600k customers v's 200k means a different buying point, which means that Telstra is further pushed on profit or simply delivers less value to customers than Telecom.

Where as if it was required that there be 4 retailers with 200k customers in the market, that would mean each having less cash to spend on marketing, but more brands and all the players would be buying from SCX at the same sorts of price point.

But if you read the post in my signature, you'd also see that I"m suggesting that the problem with net costs here is 'process'.  With 4 much smaller providers there should be less process, meaning more money for each of those providers to push more cash at pure service delivery.

Australia has laws like this for media ownership and it seems to work quite well.








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  Reply # 609469 15-Apr-2012 03:21 Send private message

Don WTF mate...

You say economies of scale is a problem then propose more ISP's....

The regulation you are proposing would create unintended consequences (as intervention usually does) leading to worse performance as ISP's would be able to get away with crappier service/performance if they have are guaranteed market share by law.

There aren't many barriers to entry in the retail ISP space, we have loads of ISP's already.

The performance differences are pretty minor currently, most people won't even notice difference. 

There are many factors at play some ISP's plans come with interleaving on by default, others off by default both are legitimate stances for different reasons (stability vs performance), some ISP's have lots of customers in urban area's and none that are rural and vice versa or a mix....

TrueNet are testing a limited range of variables and it's a nice general indicator but it ain't gospel.

Telecom's market share has already fallen a lot from when they were in the only game in town, I believe it went down to 50% for residential DSL and they have have picked up their game to win customers back and are around 60% atm. Other ISP's like Vodafone, Orcon, Slingshot are household names.

Long story short, what's problem (with retail ISP competition)?

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  Reply # 609488 15-Apr-2012 09:09 Send private message

WT fish regulation! Oh Don please tell me you are kidding?




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  Reply # 609971 16-Apr-2012 12:50 Send private message

johnr: WT fish regulation! Oh Don please tell me you are kidding?


No, not kidding, but replies indicate I haven't explained my thinking well at all.  I'll have a go again later :)

D





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  Reply # 610216 16-Apr-2012 20:37 Send private message

DonGould:
NonprayingMantis: not too sure what you mean. are you implying that the other telcos generally don't perform as well because of some lack of regulation?

tbh the differences are marginal for the most part anyway, but interested to hear your rationale for that.


The regulation needs to be that no single retail provider can have more than 20% market share and no more than 25% of the market can be consolidated into the same systems.

So this would mean that Telecom would have to be split into 3 new retail companies all their their own much smaller systems. 

This way all the providers are on a much more even footing and marketing scale compares to give all the providers more chance. 



while we're at it, I think we also need to regulate websites.  geekzone has far to big a readership amongst geeks and I think it should be broken up into five new geek sites - with unique membership - so that only 20% of the geek population are ever subjected to crazy ideas like this :P




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  Reply # 610845 17-Apr-2012 21:53 Send private message

Ragnor: You say economies of scale is a problem then propose more ISP's....


Scale is a problem in many different ways and I get the impression you didn't understand what I was trying to say.

The TrueNet data is suggesting to me that Telecom's scale and size is meaning they can deliver a service level consistently that no one else can compete with.

Reviewing the TrueNet data, as a consumer I would be pushed not to just choose Telecom. 

It's clear that there is something about the Telecom network that keeps it the unchallenged Chorus network leader.

The only other consistent provider is TelstraClear on their HFC network, which is a completely different technology so really has to be disregarded.

Ragnor:
The regulation you are proposing would create unintended consequences (as intervention usually does) leading to worse performance as ISP's would be able to get away with crappier service/performance if they have are guaranteed market share by law.


I think you miss read what I was suggesting.  I'm not saying that they will have a guaranteed market share.

I am suggesting that a single company will be limited in the amount of market share.  So TelstraClear can not gain more than 20%.  Once they have got their 20% they can do as they choose, but they can't take on more customers. 

If they choose to start offering poor service then that opens the market up to other providers to pick up customers from TelstraClear assuming they don't currently have 20% of the market.

Ragnor:
There aren't many barriers to entry in the retail ISP space, we have loads of ISP's already.


Agreed.  But those providers really are only fringe edge providers.  The entire industry, including TelstraClears own network, don't even make up 50% and what I'm seeing from the TrueNet data is that Telecom clearly have to much of a jump on the industry to provide a like level quality level.



Ragnor:
The performance differences are pretty minor currently, most people won't even notice difference. 

There are many factors at play some ISP's plans come with interleaving on by default, others off by default both are legitimate stances for different reasons (stability vs performance), some ISP's have lots of customers in urban area's and none that are rural and vice versa or a mix....

TrueNet are testing a limited range of variables and it's a nice general indicator but it ain't gospel.

Telecom's market share has already fallen a lot from when they were in the only game in town, I believe it went down to 50% for residential DSL and they have have picked up their game to win customers back and are around 60% atm. Other ISP's like Vodafone, Orcon, Slingshot are household names.

Long story short, what's problem (with retail ISP competition)?


The problem, as the data suggests, is that Telecom has a consistent quality level that no other Chorus reseller can compete with clearly.

Regulation would also be much better for investment.  It would force investors to look at a range of providers which would also be safer for them.

The problem we've seen with massive providers is that it's all great while things are on the up, but the second the market changes then people start loosing investment value like mad. 

Being limited to 20% market share would mean investors would then be challenged to look to other companies to invest in and build a more healthy spread investment market wouldn't it?

I look to the banking industry as an example, a number of big balanced providers with lots of consumer choice.  Yes, in that market the big 4 are owned by Australia, but even that doesn't present an issue as the government just starts up new banks to keep a local choice and some market control and management.

The TrueNet data seems to consistently suggest to me that the existing competitors are just to small to provide the same level of quality service so we need to do more to balance out the market and cause consumers to move around the market more freely.








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  Reply # 610851 17-Apr-2012 22:15 Send private message

While we're at it I think we also need to regulate supermarkets as pak n sav constantly gets rated as
the cheapest supermarket each year. So that Pak N Save can only be the cheapest in frozen foods and can foods not overall as clearly their market share is making the other competitors not be able to keep up.

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  Reply # 610854 17-Apr-2012 22:22 Send private message

I think you're taking Telecom's lead in the stats here a bit too strongly. It certainly hasn't always been that way. It's only in recent times that Telecom has started to redeem itself as a quality ISP. Its popularity has almost nothing to do with statistics like these. For the most part it's that most people don't know there is another ISP, or just stick with Telecom because it's easier that way and they can't be bothered shopping around. Personally, I don't choose Telecom because I don't like dealing with a foreign call centre and would rather support NZ business.

IMO, Telecom's market share doesn't cause any problems. There are plenty of other players out there with competitive offerings, and I just don't see any logic in what you think limiting their market share might achieve.

Stats like these are awesome though, because ideally it encourages other players to try and improve their networks' performance.




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  Reply # 610862 17-Apr-2012 22:34 Send private message

DonGould:
I look to the banking industry as an example, a number of big balanced providers with lots of consumer choice.  Yes, in that market the big 4 are owned by Australia, but even that doesn't present an issue as the government just starts up new banks to keep a local choice and some market control and management. 


yep, the banking industry is a stunning example of how to deliver greater profits while rising costs to consumers in a struggling economy.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/earnings-season/anz-posts-148-billion-profit-20120217-1tcop.html
 
the banking sector is also user pays too.  the more money you borrow, the more interest you pay.  that seems to be in conflict with the average user expectation here that the more data you use, the less it should cost.  maybe ISPs should start paying net content providers, and collecting additional fees from net content consumers?




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  Reply # 610868 17-Apr-2012 22:50 Send private message

I'm not sure if if I'm reading the graphs properly but I'd imagine that telecom would have the most number of truenet probes which is why their data looks 'smoother' than some of the other providers.

The difference between the best and the rest is less than 10% which is such a small difference that it would be hardly noticeable, and that's not even going into the fact that these results are only two NATIONAL tests, there is a LOT more things to measure to get an understanding of which ISPs to go with.

The smaller providers have started to differentiate their service by offering deals such as unlimited data to certain sites, unlimited plans, VoIP and mobile bundles, all things which add value to the offering and ultimately influence purchasing decisions.

If anyone is trying to gain an insight into the NZ ISP industry these graphs are not a good place to start, only good to supplement your decision making process and for ISPs to get an idea where their service fits in with their competitors, based on the limited tests carried out.

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  Reply # 610875 17-Apr-2012 23:03 Send private message

insane: I'm not sure if if I'm reading the graphs properly but I'd imagine that telecom would have the most number of truenet probes which is why their data looks 'smoother' than some of the other providers.


So what you're suggesting is that Telecom's prob group should be randomly divided up and presented as fractional providers T1, T2, T3, T4 so that it can be compared reasonably.

This data is not being picked up by the ComCom and used to drive public policy?  So the data does need to provide an accurate representation of the market place doesn't it?

I still fail to see how the market can be effective when one retailer has 60% of the market. 

It still seems to me that smaller providers can make, in their terms, massive investments in marketing to pick up customers which can then be erroded on a heart beat with a fractional percentage of revenue by Telecom.

For example, I note this past months TelstraClear marketing for $75 which appears to have been meet by Telecom's response of doubling data to slow the churn tide.

D





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  Reply # 610890 17-Apr-2012 23:36 Send private message

DonGould:

So what you're suggesting is that Telecom's prob group should be randomly divided up and presented as fractional providers T1, T2, T3, T4 so that it can be compared reasonably.

This data is not being picked up by the ComCom and used to drive public policy?  So the data does need to provide an accurate representation of the market place doesn't it?

I still fail to see how the market can be effective when one retailer has 60% of the market. 

It still seems to me that smaller providers can make, in their terms, massive investments in marketing to pick up customers which can then be erroded on a heart beat with a fractional percentage of revenue by Telecom.

For example, I note this past months TelstraClear marketing for $75 which appears to have been meet by Telecom's response of doubling data to slow the churn tide.

D



That's not exactly what I'm was suggesting, they should be represented as per the data, people just need to understand what they are looking at and not place too much weighting on two national performance tests.

National traffic only makes up for maybe 20% of residential internet usage, up a little from years gone by with all the extra caching taking place now.

What it means is that the test's show two aspects of maybe 20% of users internet usage, what about the other 80%, and that's just looking at performance. Last time I checked these forums people are still shopping around for providers based on price.

ISPs have many ways they can compete, if they cannot survive now through creative thinking then they had better close up shop now as it's not going to get any easier if ISPs stick to high volume / low margin. It's not like the petrol market where it's accepted for prices to rise over time.



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  Reply # 610903 17-Apr-2012 23:58 Send private message

A few points to include in the debate:
We are trying to get the same number of probes per ISP, having said that it is easier to get Telecom probes so there is more, but not proportional to their market share (which by the way is around 50% from the last stats I saw)
Yes this traffic is only National and that is a smaller proportion of NZ traffic, we are testing more but have not the time yet to publish - I hope to correct that in the near future.
The browsing test is however some representation of a lot of usage issues, international browsing for example is unlikely to be much better than National, so it does give some indication, poor DNS and poor latency are also not going to help browsing.
Telecom has not always been "the best", maybe they put the greatest effort into getting to be the best

And lastly, the gap is small, but the dummy page is also small at 300k, a larger page would drive download times up, not necessarily proportional.




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