Campbell Live TV3 tonight - Broadband in NZ

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 30-Jan-2007 13:40

Might be worth watching..

"Why are broadband subscribers still simmering with discontent months after the promised unleashing of the local loop? We examine the complaints, demystify the technology, and ask Telecom if unbundling has left it tangled in knots."

NZ Herald inaccurate reporting yet again!

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 25-Jan-2007 08:54

Jenny Keown has done it yeat again - written a story full of a few facts and then.. FUD

In the story entitled "She's a multi-millionaire and still can't get broadband" it seems that Jenny Gibbs who is worth $30 and lives on Paratai Drive has been trying to get "broadband" for 2 years but can't because the Remuera Exchange is full - even though Telecom said that they only ran out of ports late last year.

It seems that Ms Keown is unaware that Broadband is not a TM of Telecom NZ and that there are other ways of getting "broadband" high speed internet access in Paratai Drive.

How about trying

* Vodafone
* Woosh Wireless
* Wired Country offered by numerous ISP's

I am sure there are other wireless providers who can also provide access - post them as a comment if you want the business! :-)

The ideal Xmas/Birthday Gift!

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 24-Jan-2007 15:26

Kids relying on the interweb for homework?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 17-Jan-2007 14:33

I was reading the latest Telecom Press Release today:

"In October last year, as part of a survey of nearly 450 ten-year-olds,
Telecom found that 57 percent used the Internet as their main source of
homework information, alongside library books at 18 percent,
encyclopaedias at nine percent and text books at four percent."

Is this a scary thought? We all know that the internet is an amazing place but as we all know not everything you read is correct. How accurate is the information that many could be relying on for their homework?

Telecom price increase - How to save yourself $36.60 per year

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 15-Jan-2007 10:59

I notice today in the Dom Post that Telecom are increasing their Homeline service in the Wellington & Christchurch Regions from $34.80 to $36.00 per month. If you're elsewhere in NZ where TCL don't have a network this will be increasing from $42.20 to $43.60 per month.

If you are in the Wellington or Christchurch area why not move to TelstraClear? You pay $32.95 per month for the same service, can add cable broadband which is *far* superior to ADSL in every respect and can keep the same telephone number?

What reason is there to stay with Telecom?

Hamilton pair fuming over TV text rip-off

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 11-Jan-2007 12:45

From stuff today

"A Hamilton woman who entered a television text competition is fuming that her mobile phone provider refuses to do anything to stop money being taken from her. "

Hellooooo..Welcome to the real world.

I personally think premium rate SMS competitions should be banned in NZ but the simple fact is they aren't. Why is this woman bleating to the media however that Vodafone are some how to blame? If you want to be unsubscribed from the service pay your $3 to send in a TXT which will stop the service.

For once I want to defend Vodafone. I'll be annoyed if you refund this customer due to her stupidity. Compare it to another real world scenario - should Holden be responsible for your speeding tickets if you get caught speeding in one of their cars?

Apple iPhone - The Ultimate Geek Gadget?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 10-Jan-2007 08:52

Well it's now been announced - the Apple iPhone (not be confused with the Linksys iPhone and the minor issue that Linksys own the TM to the word 'iPhone' in many countries!)

Is this going to be the ultimate must have gadget? Looking at the presentation and specs you really have to wonder whether Apple can do anything wrong. IMHO it's the first device that could be considered to be an iPod killer! As we all know however specs and glossy brochures don't cut it in the real world and we'll have to see how this product compares when it's available.

Vodafone 3G Broadband latency

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 9-Jan-2007 19:07

I've just spent the last hour or so playing with some various settings and it's interesting to see the differences between Vodafone APN's. Traffic is even being routed differently depending on the APN which explains the ping times.

The ping times of under 100ms are sensational but aren't constant, I received ping times in the low 100's on average testing the Vodem on several occasions. Traffic using however is being routed differently as the tracert results show and the latency suffers big time.

Obviously if you are a Vodafone 3G data customer and lower latency is an issue for you then changing APN's may be a wise move.

Details of Vodafone NZ's APN's are here

Using APN

Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1   114 ms    99 ms    99 ms
  2   106 ms   119 ms    99 ms
  3   104 ms    99 ms    99 ms
  4    98 ms    99 ms    99 ms
  5   107 ms    98 ms    99 ms
  6   127 ms    99 ms   109 ms
  7    97 ms    99 ms    99 ms
  8    97 ms    99 ms    99 ms []
  9   115 ms   109 ms   109 ms []

 10   106 ms   109 ms   109 ms []
 11   107 ms   109 ms   109 ms [210.55.202
 12   106 ms   129 ms   109 ms [202.50.1
 13   126 ms   109 ms   109 ms []
 14   106 ms    99 ms   119 ms []

Trace complete.

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=103ms TTL=112
Reply from bytes=32 time=101ms TTL=112
Reply from bytes=32 time=89ms TTL=112
Reply from bytes=32 time=88ms TTL=112

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 88ms, Maximum = 103ms, Average = 95ms

Using APN

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=242ms TTL=102
Reply from bytes=32 time=250ms TTL=102
Reply from bytes=32 time=229ms TTL=102
Reply from bytes=32 time=247ms TTL=102

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 229ms, Maximum = 250ms, Average = 242ms

Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1   124 ms   169 ms   139 ms
  2   128 ms   149 ms   139 ms
  3   147 ms   149 ms   119 ms
  4   157 ms   149 ms   159 ms
  5   148 ms   139 ms   158 ms
  6   146 ms   149 ms   149 ms
  7   147 ms   148 ms   150 ms [203.110.9.
  8   137 ms   139 ms   119 ms  so-3-0-0.XR2.AKL1.ALTER.NET []
  9   136 ms   159 ms   159 ms  so-3-0-0.BR1.AKL1.ALTER.NET []
 10   317 ms   298 ms   299 ms []
 11   317 ms   310 ms   289 ms []
 12   316 ms   310 ms   308 ms [
 13   326 ms   288 ms   329 ms [
 14   296 ms   310 ms   309 ms []

Trace complete.

How to rescan your iTunes music folder

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 5-Jan-2007 11:21

If you're an iTunes user you'll realise one of the biggest gripes is that if you add music to your music folder manually (ie copy the file) rather than downloading the software from ITMS you have no way of easily forcing iTunes to rescan the folder and add files to the music catalogue. Since I don't use iTunes it's never really worried me but I was trying to fix iTunes for my girlfriend last night and came across this brilliant app which will rescan your music folder and add the songs to the iTunes database.

Very cool indeed..I just can't understand why Apple don't add this feature to the software!

Open letter to Russell Stanners - why Vodafone NZ sucks

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 1-Jan-2007 03:56

Well it's happened yet again, Vodafone's UMTS network has crapped itself and appears to have taken the core IP network with it meaning that no 3G user in NZ has been able to send SMS's on one of the busiest nights of the year and data and MMS services have been unavailable for all customer since late last night.

Since you seem to be such a media savvy person and we know that so many Vodafone staff read Geekzone (so you're sure to get this message) maybe you'd like to add your comments to this post and give us your thoughts on how you will improve Vodafone NZ since it's the start of a new year. Since the buck stops at the top of any organisation are you up to it or are you scared to face those who openly criticise you?

So far in the past 2 weeks your UMTS network has suffered 3 major outages. Your customer service sucks. Your loyalty to long term customers is non existant. You are getting your arse whipped by Telecom because you simply can't bring products to the market that users want. You don't give a crap about on account customers who deliver the bulk of your ARPU and you're failing to actually get new customers. Vodafone used to be a brand that brought innovation to the NZ mobile market and was a company and brand that I truely believed in and would have been proud to work for. Now the brand represents nothing but a failure in the NZ mobile market. If it wasn't for the fact your network is such a cash cow you would have been gone long ago and replaced by somebody who knew how to run a business.

I've just got home after celebrating New Years and had a mate so annoyed by the response he got from customer service he's told them where to stick his $400 a month contract and is going out to sign up with Telecom tomorrow. The least you can do after these ongoing network failures is to compensate your customers but I'll put money on the fact you won't because you honestly don't care.

Bring back Graham Maher. At least he knew how to run a network. Even Larry did better job running an underfunded and under resourced BellSouth.

Happy new year.

sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at