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Master Geek


# 14944 27-Jul-2007 04:21
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I've just moved to the UK and set myself up, so I thought I'd send my 2 cents over to NZ as a comparison. I thought some of you may appreciate my first impressions of the UK vs. NZ.

The first thing I would say is my hatred for Telecom continues long after I have left NZ...

I pay £8 a month for 8mbs ADSL over here. At current exchange rate thats around NZ$20/month, and compared to other cost of living things, it feels more like NZ$15...

Do I get the full 8mbs - not really, as the cabling over here is aging, but I get fast enough to blow our old Telecom connection out of the water. The connection is constant regardless of when I log on - peak time after work and its still going strong!

We had to sign up to a 12 month contract, but as part of this they sent us a free Wireless router (not a special, its just what they do) which also included 3 free phone filters.

The call centre is impossible to get anyone who knows what they are doing, but that sounds like home.

Really the overall package was a good reminder of how far behind NZ really is...

We tried Video Skype to a number of people at home last week - it was all done our evening, so hardly peak time in NZ. The calls we made to people on Telstra Fiber were fantastic. Smooth video, in sync with the sound. All of the calls we made to Telecom ADSL were unusable... video was jumpy and up to 10sec out of sync with the sound.

It really has been an enlightening reminder of how much Telecom has held NZ braodband to ransom! It will be interesting to see what difference local loop unbundling will make and whether competition will improve the situation, or whether years of underinvestment have just made to much damage to recover in the short term???

Thoughts? Impressions?



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Ultimate Geek


  # 79973 27-Jul-2007 12:15
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I have to agree with your assessment.  I moved back to NZ from the UK almost 2 years ago.  The UK is now reaping the rewards of LLU and splitting their incumbent Telco - with ADSL 2+ available over there for a while now.  The LLU combined with a bigger and generally more affluent population and a lot of competitive ISPs means that prices and performance (if not service) is pretty good.  Whether LLU (and Telecom separation) will benefit NZ as much as it did the UK remains to be seen.

Their cable (http://allyours.virginmedia.com/websales/service.do?id=2) is about the same as TCL over here with regards to price and performance - providing TCL do their 25Mbps upgrade.  So that does rather point to Telecom as being the difference in the ADSL market.

Bandwidth caps are less common in the UK, but their ISPs tend to hide behind "Acceptable Usage Policy" and generally their international connectivity would cost their ISPs a lot less than NZ's so that's understandable.




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  # 79980 27-Jul-2007 13:25
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You'll find no disagreement from me either!!

I've been back in NZ for five years now, but was building data networks for the UK's biggest cable company and second largest ISP (ntl now Virgin Media).

I agree and think the key issue must be investment in the network (or lack of investment with TNZ). Six years ago I was lamping in huge networks to be able to handle the predicted demand from cable broadband customers. It does not appear that TNZ have been making any significant network upgrades judging by what I see in this and other Geekzone forums.

I hope you're enjoying life in Blighty, Pernod!!






 

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  # 80062 27-Jul-2007 21:24
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I do not agree.  On XNet on a Friday evening at 8:45 I get 6.5Mbps national speed, and to Sydney I'm getting 3.5Mbps.  That is fairly decent speed at what I would think is peak time.  When people on this forum complain about slow speeds, it is always the same ISPs that are reported as being slow and some ISPs are never mentioned as being slow.  It's time we start mentioning the fast ISPs.

I do agree about the cost of Internet.  This morning on TV there was an interview with Telecom.  They stated that Internet is only 10% of their business.  When asked if that means it gets low priority, the reply was no.  Yea right...  How can 10% of business have high priority unless it generates high revenue?  It's time for good competition to drive prices down.




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  # 80063 27-Jul-2007 21:40
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Niel:
I do agree about the cost of Internet. This morning on TV there was an interview with Telecom. They stated that Internet is only 10% of their business. When asked if that means it gets low priority, the reply was no. Yea right... How can 10% of business have high priority unless it generates high revenue? It's time for good competition to drive prices down.


Considering that we are likely to see more internet based apps, I would say that it is highly unlikely that internet would be a low priority, of course a lot of the changes are not exactly facing the public (and those individuals are bound by NDA's too). There are many factors in the 'who has the fastest broadband' competition, and one should to take that into account.

On the other hand, mobile data is certainly improving, particularly when compared to other countries that fixed line alternatives are compared to. Speeds, data plans, and coverage is relatively good when compared to others.

ADSL in Tianjin, China was nice and cheap. Decent performance but international bandwidth was considerably lower than national bandwidth (1mbps national).




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  # 80064 27-Jul-2007 21:55
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cokemaster: ...international bandwidth was considerably lower than national bandwidth (1mbps national).

What sort of International Bandwidth do you typically get out of China?

I know in Taiwan it's frequently very slow (100kbps max. last time I was there.  Or maybe it was just the connection at my hotel.

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  # 80065 27-Jul-2007 21:59
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I got about 60kbps with 1000ms latency from the DSL connection there to NZ, though it varied with countries. Usually maxed out at around 100-200kbps.

Unfortunately some ISP's over there are implementing heavy traffic shaping to ensure that ones internet connection is unused as much as possible.




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  # 80066 27-Jul-2007 22:02
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cokemaster: ...1000ms latency from the DSL connection there to NZ

That's a wicked latency!  It would pretty much rule out using Skype wouldn't it?

 
 
 
 


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  # 80068 27-Jul-2007 22:14
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Yes, calls connected but that was about it. VOIP from NZ or calling cards over there is much better, but I've always found that the high latency is a killer when using skype or any overseas SIP gateways. PC to PC calls often suffer from high latency, though there probably has been some progress made in the past year on that.

With 0161 and a few NZ providers (haven't tried VFX yet), I've found the quality to be on par with what one would expect with traditional international POTS calling.




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  # 80199 29-Jul-2007 12:20
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2 years ago when I went to Fiji, the resort in the middle of nowhere had faster and more stable ADSL than New Zealand can get at all.

I was dumbfounded.

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  # 80206 29-Jul-2007 12:37
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'Stability' is line dependent, generally. If you are quite far away from the DSLAM or you have lower quality lines, you are going to experience issues.
Remember that Fiji is a quite a small place compared to New Zealand as well.

I'm really close to the local exchange and have been connected without any disconnections for about 1 month (since rebooting router). Does this reflect everyones connection? No, however if is experiencing poor ADSL connectivity the same applies.




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