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BigPipe

Topic # 190895 15-Jan-2016 13:47
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Hello geekzoners!

Here at Bigpipe we love stats, charts and other things like that.

TL;DR  NZ has good infrastructure for streaming videos!

As you might know Netflix publishes stats on average throughput speeds that different ISPs get to Netflix servers. 

How they calculate this:
The Netflix ISP Speed Index lists the average prime time bitrate for Netflix content streamed to Netflix members during a particular month. For ‘Prime Time’, we calculate the average bitrate of Netflix content in megabits per second (Mbps) streamed by Netflix members per ISP. We measure the speed via all available end user devices. For a small number of devices, we cannot calculate the exact bitrates and streaming via cellular networks is exempted from our measurements. The speed indicated in the Netflix ISP Speed Index is not a measure of the maximum throughput or the maximum capacity of an ISP. 


NZ data can be found here
http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/country/new-zealand/


This data, when taken at a national average level, is probably a pretty good representation of overall how good the infrastructure in that country is.

So whilst it's not very reasonable to compare ISPs in NZ using the data (see bottom section for explanation of why), it is quite reasonable, I think, to compare NZ with, say, Australia.

So, with that explanation of the data out of the way, how does NZ stack up vs other countries?

You can access the data here http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/global/  and download it as a handy CSV file.
I did that, and what do you know, NZ is sitting at joint 7th out of 32 countries for average throughput!  Not bad eh?
top ten chart:


No metric is perfect of course, but what's interesting is that other comparisons (like Akamai or Sandvine) often place NZ somewhere near the middle of the pack when it comes to performance, whereas using this metric, we are in the top 25% of countries.

Other notable contries rankings:
USA ranked 19th
Australia ranked 16th
UK ranked 8th (well, joint 7th with NZ)

Here is the countries in rank order as per the most recent stats (this, of course, excludes the 100 or so extra countries they very recently opened up for Netflix - not enough data there yet)

  Country Mbps
1 Luxembourg 4.21
2 Belgium 4.025
3 Denmark 3.97
4 Switzerland 3.95
5 Netherlands 3.91
6 Norway 3.81
7 New Zealand 3.695
8 United Kingdom 3.695
9 Finland 3.585
10 Germany 3.58
11 France 3.55
12 Sweden 3.545
13 Spain 3.505
14 Portugal 3.355
15 Japan 3.34
16 Australia 3.275
17 Austria 3.14
18 Uruguay 3.09
19 United States 2.92
20 Italy 2.775
21 Ireland 2.745
22 Chile 2.725
23 Canada 2.69
24 Brazil 2.51
25 Argentina 2.5
26 Panama 2.38
27 Colombia 2.325
28 Mexico 2.31
29 Ecuador 2.215
30 Jamaica 2.05
31 Peru 1.81
32 Costa Rica 1.675

Just thought this would be an interesting topic for discussion. Looking forward to seeing what you guys have to say about the interpretation of the data.


Footnote:
*Why this (probably) shouldn't be used to compare ISPs in NZ
For the USA, where different ISPs usually use different underlying infrastructure that they own and manage, it is a pretty decent way of comparing how they perform against one another.

However, for NZ, where most ISPs are using the same underlying infrastructure (owned by Chorus for the most part), the differences between the ISPs is mostly reflected in the fact that they will have different proportions of customers on high and low speed plans that generally reflect the instrastructure available in that area.

In other words, the differences between the ISPs doesn't really tell you that one ISP in NZ is 'better' or 'worse' than the other, it's just down to the underlying technology their customers have and how that mix changes over time. So at any given house, based on this data, you cannot say that one ISP will perform better than another for Netflix assuming you are not changing technology at the same time. 

For example,  Snap (now 2Degrees) was also one of the first ISPs to launch UFB and VDSL, and has experienced a lot of it's growth since then.  So it's pretty likely to have a very high proportion of customers on these higher speed plans, using quite modern modems with decent wifi, which will skew their average throughput to Netflix up a fair bit.

Spark, on the other hand, being the incumbent, has a very high proportion of the 'rural' market - meaning most of the customers who live with ADSL1 will be with Spark, and quite a lot of them will have very old modems with poor wifi that they got when they first got broadband 5+ years ago.  This will skew their average down a bit. Nothing to do with Spark as an ISP, just the nature of the customer technology mix.

Most ISPs have improved their average speed over the past few months. This likely reflects the change in their customer base as more and more people get UFB and VDSL (and also better modems) which brings the average up (as well as a one-off adujstment for putting in caching etc)
trend over time


and finally, when comparing ISPs, note that the speed difference between best and worse isn't really that much anyway (3.92Mbps for 2Degrees at rank 1 vs 3.47 for Trustpower at bottom rank - a fair bit below the next 'worst' at 3.70).
Latest NZ ranking




(strangely absent from the list is MyRepublic.  No idea why they don't qualify. (maybe not big enough yet?)




bigpipe.co.nz
https://www.facebook.com/BigPipeNZ
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  Reply # 1471970 15-Jan-2016 14:42
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Imagine what it will look like if we could get the UFB consent issues (and installation bottlenecks) sorted out! I suspect we should continue to climb these rankings as the rollout is completed and the crown's investment should keep us ahead of many countries for a while.

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  Reply # 1471979 15-Jan-2016 14:57
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Hey @BigPipeNZ - how do local NetFlix caches change this, if at all?  If for example you (BigPipe) have a local Netflix cache, but Voda doesn't, would that affect the overall scores? Seeing as some content would be sourced nationally and some internationally?

Great stats by the way!  You should put the images in full size on your site though....



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  Reply # 1471983 15-Jan-2016 15:11
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timbosan: Hey @BigPipeNZ - how do local NetFlix caches change this, if at all?  If for example you (BigPipe) have a local Netflix cache, but Voda doesn't, would that affect the overall scores? Seeing as some content would be sourced nationally and some internationally?

Great stats by the way!  You should put the images in full size on your site though....


Hard to say.

I'm 90%+ certain that every ISP except Trustpower on that NZ ranking have access to a Netflix Cache.
(I'm not saying that Trustpower don't have one - I just don't know if they do or not)








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  Reply # 1472056 15-Jan-2016 16:22
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jnimmo: Imagine what it will look like if we could get the UFB consent issues (and installation bottlenecks) sorted out! I suspect we should continue to climb these rankings as the rollout is completed and the crown's investment should keep us ahead of many countries for a while.


We are leading the OECD countries in the % growth of fibre connections (data from Dec 2014), admittedly from a low base..

http://www.oecd.org/sti/broadband/oecdbroadbandportal.htm

click on 'Growth of fibre subscription' excel link

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  Reply # 1472111 15-Jan-2016 17:25
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timbosan: Hey @BigPipeNZ - how do local NetFlix caches change this, if at all?  If for example you (BigPipe) have a local Netflix cache, but Voda doesn't, would that affect the overall scores? Seeing as some content would be sourced nationally and some internationally?

Great stats by the way!  You should put the images in full size on your site though....


VFNZ has netflix cache




Anything I suggest or say is my own thoughts and not provided by anyone else unless stated

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Spark NZ

  Reply # 1472124 15-Jan-2016 17:35
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Spark has lots of them, all over the place.

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 1472363 16-Jan-2016 07:54
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What's more interesting is.. Luxembourg who ranks number 1 http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/country/luxembourg/

Their top ISP is fibre only. Ranks at 4.3mbs.

If you take that into account the top of the pack is pretty close to each other.





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  Reply # 1472366 16-Jan-2016 08:14
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Remember this is the netflix speed. Many people will be on the cheap plan, and not many will have anything to stream 4k on, so if most of the customers are able to stream 1080 content fine, why would there be signifigant differences between them?

IMO its really a silly thing to measure on. Now if steam gave stats broken down like that, then it would be worth while ;)

Best they have is this which also shows us better than aussie ;)

New Zealand
Total Bytes: 376 TB
Average Download Rate: 12.3 Mbps
Percentage of global Steam Traffic: 0.3%

Australia
Total Bytes: 1.9 PB
Average Download Rate: 7.8 Mbps
Percentage of global Steam Traffic: 1.8%


But still waaaay behind almost anywhere else.

edit: from here: http://store.steampowered.com/stats/content/  and try to fix table




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1472432 16-Jan-2016 10:19
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richms: Now if steam gave stats broken down like that, then it would be worth while ;)



They do, click NZ on the link you provided (http://store.steampowered.com/stats/content/)

Network            Average Download Rate
Spark NZ          10.7 Mbps
Vodafone NZ     10.1 Mbps
CallPlus            6.3 Mbps
Orcon               8.8 Mbps
TelstraClear      21.2 Mbps
Snap                13.5 Mbps
TrustPower        9.1 Mbps
TDIGITAL-AS-AP TDigital,NZ 14 Mbps
MyRepublic NZ   38.3 Mbps
Flip                  5.5 Mbps


edit: table

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Spark NZ

  Reply # 1472442 16-Jan-2016 10:39
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richms: Remember this is the netflix speed. Many people will be on the cheap plan, and not many will have anything to stream 4k on, so if most of the customers are able to stream 1080 content fine, why would there be signifigant differences between them?

IMO its really a silly thing to measure on. Now if steam gave stats broken down like that, then it would be worth while ;)

Best they have is this which also shows us better than aussie ;)

New Zealand
Total Bytes: 376 TB
Average Download Rate: 12.3 Mbps
Percentage of global Steam Traffic: 0.3%

Australia
Total Bytes: 1.9 PB
Average Download Rate: 7.8 Mbps
Percentage of global Steam Traffic: 1.8%


But still waaaay behind almost anywhere else.

edit: from here: http://store.steampowered.com/stats/content/  and try to fix table


Interesting stuff, but keep in mind that Steam content accounts for about an order of magnitude less traffic than Netflix, and the Steam traffic is far less concentrated around the peak hour - so the higher speeds MIGHT in some cases not reflect ISP performance under heavy conditions.

That said... I'll probably have a look at the actual Steam traffic reporting on Monday... It might be getting close to a level worth doing something about.

Cheers -N


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  Reply # 1472489 16-Jan-2016 11:02
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And yet - people in NZ still think we're a third world country.

A bit of a difference from our average (12.3Mbps) to Somalia (600Kbps).




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  Reply # 1473134 17-Jan-2016 13:21
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michaelmurfy: And yet - people in NZ still think we're a third world country.


People just like to complain about this topic. I've given up on using facts (such as the ones above) to backup assertions, now I just let them rant.



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  Reply # 1473137 17-Jan-2016 13:29
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michaelmurfy: And yet - people in NZ still think we're a third world country.


Agreed. My folks live in suburban Paris and struggle to reach 4Mbps. My brother is closer to the city and is on about 7. They were very surprised when I told them I consistently reached 16 Mbps on Vodafone ADSL in Auckland city (Grafton) laughing



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  Reply # 1473138 17-Jan-2016 13:29
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bairdo:
richms: Now if steam gave stats broken down like that, then it would be worth while ;)



They do, click NZ on the link you provided (http://store.steampowered.com/stats/content/)

Network            Average Download Rate
Spark NZ          10.7 Mbps
Vodafone NZ     10.1 Mbps
CallPlus            6.3 Mbps
Orcon               8.8 Mbps
TelstraClear      21.2 Mbps
Snap                13.5 Mbps
TrustPower        9.1 Mbps
TDIGITAL-AS-AP TDigital,NZ 14 Mbps
MyRepublic NZ   38.3 Mbps
Flip                  5.5 Mbps


edit: table


in case anyone is interested - TDIGITAL would be us (Bigpipe)

But, as with the Netflix stats in the first post,  these stats are (somewhat) useful for comparing countries, but entirely un-useful for comparing ISPs within a country for the same reasons i.e. they represent the mix of underlying infrastructure rather than anything the ISP actually controls directly.

i.e. MyRepublic has the 'fastest' but that is entirely down to the fact that they sell Fibre and VDSL, no ADSL.  If you were to split out UFB from copper on the other ISPs, they would probably all be up in the same sort of region.  (and as others have said, steam downloading is probably less likely to be at peak times compared to Netflix traffic).
(It's the same sort of reasoning MyRepublic used to claim they were the 'fastest internet in NZ' a few months back, and then got told off by the ASA because it's fallacious reasoning)




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1473687 18-Jan-2016 12:23
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We've now embloggend this post! It's really quite similar, but if you'd rather look at our graphs in glorious higher-ish-res, check it out




www.bigpipe.co.nz

 

https://www.facebook.com/BigPipeNZ

 

https://twitter.com/BigPipeNZ

 


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