Keeping New Zealand’s broadband ahead of the curve
Your online experience is very much like driving to work. The broadband type you purchase (fibre, VDSL or ADSL) is the car Fibre Pro is a Ferrari and ADSL is your basic model which does the basics well but won’t be winning the Grand Prix or taking on any tricky off road tracks.
And you can think of Chorus’ national broadband network as the road your car drives on. Like any infrastructure, whether roads, buses or even the lifts at lunchtime, as demand increases it becomes congested. Anyone trying to navigate the streets of our main cities at 5pm can attest that thanks to congestion you’ll experience significant reduction in speed, regardless of whether you’re driving a 1.2 litre hatchback or a 4.7 litre V8. Fortunately this won’t be the case for our national broadband network and we’ve made sure of it.
In March this year Chorus was the first New Zealand organisation that we know of to formalise a commitment to make sure the capacity of our network exceeds demand now and into the future. We agreed with the Commerce Commission that data traffic through our Ethernet copper network at any one time must not exceed more than 95% of network capacity.
That means that even as New Zealand’s data usage continues to grow, our network will always have at least five percent more than it needs, so we can continue to deliver the same reliable connection no matter what time of the day you’re online. This is reflected in TrueNet’s performance results which show Chorus fixed line broadband services (ADSL, VDSL and fibre) deliver consistent performance at all times of the day. This new commitment for our copper network follows a similar commitment that already exists for our fibre network under our UFB contract with the Government.
Looking into our crystal ball
With TVNZ beginning to livestream channels One, Two and Duke from their website last month, moving live TV online to join on demand services like Netflix, we’re using our broadband connections to do more and more. In June 2017, homes and small businesses on the Chorus network consumed an average of 155GB each. That compares to 102GB in June of last year. To make sure we fulfil our commitments to keep the network congestion-free we have a team of capacity planners, based in Wellington who monitor demand for our network in real time, using information such as real estate, immigration and Statistics New Zealand projections to forecast what demand will be up to five years into the future. We review our projections annually to make sure we’re staying in line with growth.
We use those figures to manage the investment we make in our network every year. In anticipation of more data growth we’ve completely upgraded the backbone network that links our Auckland data exchanges together with high capacity 100Gbps linking technology – that’s 10 times the size of the previous 10Gbps links. We’re now in the process of rolling that out across the country to other high demand areas. Each 100Gbps link can carry 20,000 high definition Netflix shows at the same time!
Our congestion-free network commitments and investment mean that better broadband is here to stay. So New Zealand, go forth and get that Ferrari connection, watch online TV and Skype your mum safe in the knowledge that our network will give you all the room you need to reliably work and play at full speed online no matter what time of the day you’re doing it.
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