Cheaper slower broadband?

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 13-Apr-2006 09:00

Today I noticed my ADSL broadband speed has increased as part of Telecom New Zealands "Cheaper faster broadband" offerings. 'Hiking' my speed from 2Mbit to 3.5Mbit.

On my 2Mbit plan, I used to get 1.9Mbit on a consistent basis - not worth going to court over.

Now, however, on my supposedly 3.5Mbit plan, I am only getting around 2.9Mbit on average. Thats a full 512Kbit slower than promised. Lets not forget that a lot of New Zealanders are only on 256Kbit broadband, so that puts the extra 512kbit that im missing firmly in perspective.

I went to http://www.nzdsl.co.nz and ran their speed test several times. I will also repeat this at some stage during the evening.

Heres the results:

DateSpeed
April 13th, 2006 9:33am2557.3 kbps
April 13th, 2006 9:33am2484.7 kbps
April 13th, 2006 9:33am3145.5 kbps
April 13th, 2006 9:33am3229.4 kbps
April 13th, 2006 9:33am2595.4 kbps
April 13th, 2006 9:32am2818.7 kbps
April 13th, 2006 9:32am3360.6 kbps
  
Q: So are Telecom delivering me cheaper broadband?
A: No.

Q: Are Telecom delivering me faster broadband?
A: No. (Quite the opposite in fact).

Q: Is Telecom New Zealand Ltd breaking the law by making outrageous claims and then not delivering?
A: Probably (I'm not a lawyer, but they are likely in breach of the Fair Trading Act).

I know im not the worst off - people on other ISPs seem to be suffering more, a quick search through the Geekzone forums will reveal that - people being forced to upgrade to more expensive plans to retain at least the data cap they had before, and then discovering their 'faster' plan is slower.

Had they advertised the speed as being 3Mbit, then I wouldnt have a problem, but they are simply not delivering me the bandwidth promised. And thats just not right.


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Comment by Jama, on 13-Apr-2006 10:44

What was promised was a maximum 3.5Mbps, you got near that once. I don't see any expected averages quoted in the T&C's. Seriously mate not a very scientific test. I think you will find that Telecom are not breaking the law.


Author's note by tonyhughes, on 13-Apr-2006 10:54

I could easily replicate the tests on Telecoms own speedtest meter at the Jetstream Games address, on different hardware at different locations around Hastings. Chances are I will come up with the same results. Intercity couldnt advertise "Wellington to Auckland for $99" but then only agree to take you to Carterton, because thats all the deisel they have. That would leave them legally liable for refunds, so why should Telecom be any different. You cant contract out of the Consumer Guarantees Act either. The T&Cs state: "The line speeds for Xtra JetStream plans are estimates only. Actual speeds may vary due to a number of factors such as distance of the residence from the Telecom exchange, line quality, atmospheric conditions etc." Well, none of that means much of anything when businesses on the same block as me use full rate Jetstream. If they can deliver 5, 6 or 7Mbits, then surely they can deliver 3.5Mbit? I think this comes down to available bandwidth (or lack of), rather than the issues outlined in the T&Cs?


Comment by Jama, on 13-Apr-2006 11:17

Line degradation and interference. Have you thought about that? After all it is just copper not 24 karat gold!


Author's note by tonyhughes, on 13-Apr-2006 11:20

But I know that I would get far more than 3.5Mbit if I signed up for full rate jetstream. That means the equipment and lines and degradation and interference dont mean anything - they are not allocating me (or others) enough bandwidth.


Author's note by tonyhughes, on 13-Apr-2006 11:41

Thanks to 'princess' for pointing out a broken link.


Comment by mike, on 13-Apr-2006 11:51

I'm confused, you say you used to get 1.9Mbit and now you average 2.9Mbit yet you say they aren't getting faster broadband? You don't mention what you're paying either?? (And the speedtest link is broken, goes to GZ homepage).


Author's note by tonyhughes, on 13-Apr-2006 12:03

Speedtest link fixed. thanks. I was getting within 100kbps of my plan speed, but now am averaging 600kbps under... in proportion its slower. $59.95 NZD monthly. I see they are now plastering all their descriptions with 'Maximum speed' etc... All a bit of a different slant to the original announcements of speed increases.


Comment by mike, on 13-Apr-2006 13:57

I see your point but you're picking a tough battle arguing it's slower! To change your analogy how often do Intercity, Air NZ, etc. arrive on time? On the other hand I'm on the same plan you are and the most I've had from the nzadsl speed test today is 377kbps. Maybe I really have something to moan about? Not sure I've been upgraded yet, do they email you?


Comment by Mark, on 13-Apr-2006 14:21

Consider yourself lucky. These are the speeds on my 3.5mbit upgraded DSL line. The only time I get close to 3mbits is 2-6am. 150:1 contention SUX! April 10th, 2006 10:09pm 697.8 kbps April 10th, 2006 10:08pm 664.8 kbps April 10th, 2006 6:33pm 453.5 kbps April 10th, 2006 4:41pm 326.3 kbps


Comment by Mark, on 13-Apr-2006 14:33

Consider yourself lucky. These are the speeds on my 3.5mbit upgraded DSL line. The only time I get close to 3mbits is 2-6am. 150:1 contention SUX! April 10th, 2006 10:09pm 697.8 kbps April 10th, 2006 10:08pm 664.8 kbps April 10th, 2006 6:33pm 453.5 kbps April 10th, 2006 4:41pm 326.3 kbps


Comment by juha, on 13-Apr-2006 21:41

Two things: 1) Link speed != burst speed, or CIR. Telecom provisions over 4Mbps for the 3.5Mbps plans due to the ATM cell tax and protocol overheads. 2) Telecom can do whatever it likes. You have bought a so-called best effort service. That is, you're paying for network access without any service guarantees whatsoever. You may think that consumer legislation in NZ will protect you if you find that said best effort service falls well short of your expectations as advertised by Telecom New Zealand, but do you have the money to pay a Queen's Counsel to argue that through the courts?


Author's note by tonyhughes, on 13-Apr-2006 21:53

Hi juha, your comment is very relevant. How many kiwis have the time, money and inclination to take this sort of thing to court... not many. Most would simply vote with their feet, and change provider, buut in the case of DSL, this may not be of much help. Personally I dont mind so much, its just the principle of it all really.


Comment by Tim, on 21-Apr-2006 09:02

Hi, I am with Ihug and recently upgraded my 2Mbps plan to 3.5Mbps. On the 2M plan i was getting that pretty consistantly when running speed tests and downloading large files using FlashGet. after upgrading i now get between 2.2 - 2.5Mbps :( After a few calls to ihug and a trying a few things we soon discovered that Telecom don't have enough pipes in the area to deal with the demand and that there was nothing that could be done in the short term. i would certainly drop back to the 2M plan and pay 10 bucks less a month if it wasn't for the extra 10Gigs of bandwith i get on the faster plan. Bring on local loop unbundling I say!


Comment by Grant, on 23-Apr-2006 09:14

I've moved from the 2Mbit to 3.5Mbit plan with Telecom / XTRA as well having got 1.9 -2.0 consistantly with the 2Mbit plan and i simply cant get any better than 2.3Mbits even at 5.00am on a Sunday morning when only sad buggers like me are awake Telecom are having us all on and I am dropping to their CEO and Govt next week, had enough and its about time they got smashed


Comment by Fedup, on 23-Apr-2006 18:45

good, its not just me then that is fed up of this so-called best effort service, quoting a post on this site you're paying for network access without any service guarantees whatsoever. I was on the 1mBit plan and was always getting this speed, come the speed increase by telecom i was getting 2mbits for a week then its back down to 1mbits, i upgraded to the 3.5mbits plan and now get just under 2mbits (what i would have had, before upgrading had telecom promised what the said they would deliver). I suppose this is the price we pay for living in a great but small country where Telecom have the power to rip us all off because the competition is controlled by Telecom


Comment by befuzzeld, on 24-Apr-2006 16:11

you think you have it bad i've previously been on xtra's 256k plan now being upgraded to 3.5Mbit. On the 256 plan i'de hit dead on 256 all the time now i can only average 1.3Mbit!!! An im literally next door to the exchange! whats up with that???


Comment by befuzzeld, on 24-Apr-2006 16:12

you think you have it bad i've previously been on xtra's 256k plan now being upgraded to 3.5Mbit. On the 256 plan i'de hit dead on 256 all the time now i can only average 1.3Mbit!!! An im literally next door to the exchange! whats up with that???


Comment by techremarks, on 27-Apr-2006 12:27

The issue is not with Telecom's ADSL. Access from your modem to the local exchange is fine, but from there on it is congested. The congestions ratios are designed for 1Mbps services at best, not 3.5Mbps. (And this is probably closer to what most people achieve!) Essentially, all customers on the 2Mbps and 3.5Mbps plans receive a very poor level of service with contention ratios in the range of 83:1 to 146:1. This is 66-192% worse than BT's consumer ADSL services and a shocking 315-630% worse than their business ADSL ones! (I am covering the details of this "scam" at http://techremarks.com/2006/04/contentious-contention-scam-revealed.html ) The issue is that this is something that only Telecom can fix. The pipe is clogged before we get to the reselling providers.


Comment by bsnl, on 5-Dec-2006 17:55

Moaning about a 4meg connection only giving you half thespeed? lolz I have a 64kbps connection and I pay equivlant of usd12-13 per month for it here in the capital of India, Newdelhi :( a 4meg connection is a distant dream although they are available but for a 2mbps adsl connection with no limits you will have to shell out RS25000+ per month which is about $500 US per month and that keeps it out of common man's reach. So my 64kbps connection is an on and off connection and if i am lucky I can stay connected more then an hour but normally sify broadband doesnt let me stay online for more then 15-20 mins. Such is the scene of internet service providers in India. May Indian isp's rot in hell


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