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#91145 7-Oct-2011 11:47
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I'm choosing an ISP for ADSL2+ and wondering whether speed is likely to vary by ISP. If the connection goes through the same cables to the same exchange then perhaps you'd expect performance to by the same no matter who your ISP is? Or are there other factors at work, eg. ISPs having their own equipment in exchanges, or number of customers sharing a resource, etc?

As you can see I'm no telecomms expert. 

Obvously there will be other things to consider - customer service, pricing, etc - but that's not what this question is about.

I'm considering Actrix since they seem well liked, but Telstra have this two months free deal so if there's not going to be a difference in speed or reliability they might be the better option for me.

According to Telecom Wholesale's map we're in an ADSL2+ area (Titahi Bay, Porirua).


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  #530530 7-Oct-2011 11:55
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They differ significantly.


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  #530534 7-Oct-2011 12:30
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Yes and no. Your actual ADSL2+ sync speed should be the same, unless it's a change between Telecom Wholesale equipment and an other IPS's own LLU equipment.

However, actual throughput speed of the connection is what does vary from ISP to ISP.

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  #531065 9-Oct-2011 00:26
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Your line > cabinet/exchange > backhaul > ISP hand over > ISP domestic and interntational transit

I think the the biggest difference is what happens after your data gets to your ISP, in order to go elsewhere on the internet.  Each has their own upstream providers for domestic and international transit so this does vary.  The cheaper ISP's are able to offer lower pricing and higher data caps by having more users share the fixed amount of international bandwidth they have (higher contention ratio).

The backhaul part can also be a point of difference as there are many different options that can be purchased from Telecom wholesale (p2p backhaul, EUBA tails etc). Also ISP's with their own gear in cabinets use their own providers for backhaul.

If you are connected to an exchange where other ISP's have put in their own equipment (Orcon+, Vodafone Red Network, Slingshot Better Network etc) you will likely get a slightly higher line rate as they use a less conservative noise margin than Telecom wholesale does but the line rate is only the first part of the equation so it's like starting from a higher point but may not flow through to real world performance particularly to international sites.

Actrix do have a very good reputation and have been around for a long time. They seem to have a very low profile though. I would compare their pricing to Snap and Telecom who seem to be the most recommended ISP's at the moment.

There are plenty of choices in the ISP space: Vodafone, Orcon, Slingshot, Telstraclear, Xnet, Maxnet, Actrix, ICONZ and more I've forgotten.

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