Broadband In New Zealand – Why So Slow And Expensive?

By Dan Ballard, in , posted: 10-Sep-2008 10:26

There are several reasons for slow broadband in New Zealand these range from ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) over selling their connections to how old and how long your copper phone lines are all the way to your PC being infected with Spyware and Viruses.
The most popular form of broadband in New Zealand at the moment is DSL (digital subscriber line).  DSL is a neat technology as it runs over the same copper cables as what your voice calling does, which is the same reason why it is the most popular form of broadband around, because there is no need to run additional cables.
To maximise profits, ISP’s purchase a fixed amount of traffic from the Southern Cross cable (the connections that allows you and me communicate with the rest of the world via the internet) and then unfortunately tend to over subscribe that line and generally neglect to increase that traffic as the lines fill up with customers.  The end result of that is when 3:30pm hits and all the school children get home and begin updating their Bebo and playing their favourite Youtube videos the internet slows down.  This is the major reason why ISP’s start out being so good but as their popularity increase their broadband speed decreases.
The problem is that even though only a fraction of the Southern Cross cable is being utilised the cost to ISP’s is still rather expensive therefore that cost has to be passed onto the consumer, moteliers and business owners like yourself.  To cover this cost ISP’s generally tend to have a fixed amount of broadband that you purchase say 5, 10, 20 gigabytes or more and if you go over this amount you get stung with excess usage fees.  All it takes is for someone to use your broadband to download some music or videos on a peer2peer sharing site and you will quickly get an expensive bill at the end of the month.
With all businesses you attempt to fix your costs as much as possible so being stung with excess usage fees or even the possibility of getting a large bill is certainly a risk that most businesses would want to avoid.
There are ISP’s which are currently rolling out the next generation of DSL which is ADSL2+ and VDSL (Very High Bitrate DSL) which promises faster speeds but they still have the same two issues being the further away you get from the exchange the slower it goes and that you get excess usage fees when you go over your allotted amount.
When choosing a broadband plan make sure you chose one which has reasonable excess usage fees and or notifies you when you get close to your limits or even better get an unlimited data plan.
Dan Ballard

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Dan Ballard
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