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Is your broadband delivering a great streaming experience?

Streaming Netflix at home
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Commerce Commission’s second report from its broadband monitoring programme found that most New Zealanders are able to reliably stream high definition (HD) video, such as Netflix and YouTube, most of the time.

The Measuring Broadband New Zealand Autumn Report, from independent testing partner SamKnows, includes speed and performance comparisons across copper (ADSL and VDSL), fibre (Fibre 100 and Fibre Max) and fixed wireless technologies.

"Fibre plans perform the best, being able to deliver 4k video streaming from Netflix over 99% of the time," Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.

"We are pleased that all technologies are delivering a good video streaming experience - even ADSL, the slowest technology, is capable of delivering HD video around 75% of the time. However, for households with multiple people streaming, downloading files, or gaming at the same time, fibre plans will give the best results."

Compare internet speeds for ADSL, VDSL, Wireless and Fibre Broadband Plans

The report compares the upload and download speeds reported for different broadband connection types from 15th March to 14th April 2019. It’s a great illustration of just how much faster Fibre broadband is than other connection types.

Download speed refers to how quickly you can receive information from the internet, for example when you browse the internet, open an email or watch a video online. Upload speed refers to how quickly you can transfer data from your computer online, for example when you post photos to social media, send email, or publish a video on Youtube.

Commerce Commission Download Speeds Mar-Apr19

Commerce Commission Upload Speeds March - April 2019

Compare Netflix streaming for ADSL, VDSL, Wireless and Fibre Broadband Plans

Broadband users today typically expect to be able to access high quality content when they want to, for example streaming high quality content from Netflix. The report measures what percentage of users can reliably stream Netflix in:

  • Standard Definition (SD)
  • High Definition (HD)
  • Ultra-high Definition (UHD)

 What is the maximum quality that users can reliably stream on Netflix without buffering?

  • 12.4% of users on ADSL could stream UHD videos
  • 62% of users on Fixed Wireless Plans could stream UHD videos
  • 87.9% of users on VDSL connections could stream UHD videos
  • A whopping 99% of users on Fibre plans could reliably stream UHD videos. 

Commerce Commission Netflix Speed by Connection type March - April 2019

How is your Broadband performing at home?

The report can, of course, only report on the experience of those who are taking part in the study and the Commerce Commission is looking for more people to take part in the study.

Broadband users in New Zealand should be able to access high quality content when they want to. The report found that even ADSL (the slowest technology) is capable of delivering High Definition (HD) video 75% of the time. But, this means that around 25% may not be able to access the content they want.

 Try checking your broadband speed, to make sure you are receiving the right upload and download speeds for your plan type.  If you feel you need a faster service, try these tips to boost your broadband speed. If your internet is still too slow, it may be time to upgrade. 

If you are frustrated with quality, frequent buffering or freezing when streaming content, it may be time to look at upgrading your broadband to a plan that suits how you use then internet. This is especially the case if you are on an ADSL or VDSL plan, or you live in a home where your broadband needs have changed and you need more capacity.


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