Broadband Basics

What the tech? Broadband connection types explained

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Chorus
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December 07, 2016

Choosing between the options available to get online can make assembling flat pack furniture seem simple. But, it doesn’t need to be that way. Here’s some help:

Ultra fast fibre

Fibre is the best broadband available, delivering the ultra-fast speeds and the most consistent performance. The speed of your connection is determined by the plan you order from your broadband provider. We recommend at least 100Mbps to really unleash the benefits of fibre.

  • 100Mbps or 200Mbps fibre is great for households wanting to do more online, at the same time, without slowing anyone down. You’ll be able to do more, and do it faster. There’s more information here about the benefits of a faster connection.
  • 1Gbps, also known as ‘The Gig’, is the best – and fastest – residential broadband connection available on our fibre network. If you’re already connected to our fibre network, upgrading is easy – simply talk to your broadband provider. You can read more about the Gig here.

Fibre is a new technology so, if you’re not already connected to our fibre network there’s some work we need to do to get you connected.

Super fast VDSL

VDSL is super-fast broadband delivering speeds of up to 70Mbps. Due to our programme of upgrades to our network it’s available right now to 80 percent of New Zealand homes and businesses. It provides a great experience for most users and if you’ve got more than one person accessing the internet there’s generally more than enough to go around.

VDSL uses our fibre network to get to a cabinet positioned on the street, and then the copper network from the cabinet to your house. It still provides a dedicated connection to your home so you don’t have to compete with the neighbours for bandwidth when you’re online. You can read more about VDSL here and here.

ADSL

This is our basic broadband service. It provides a good service with speeds of up to 24Mbps.

ADSL uses the copper network which provides a dedicated line to your property so there’s bandwidth available just for you and the connection from our network to your property won’t slow down in peak times like nights and weekends.

However, you’ll have a better experience if you upgrade to VDSL or fibre. A huge 80 percent of the country can access VDSL now, so chances are it’s available at your place. VDSL plans generally cost the same as ADSL. Just use our broadband checker to see if you can access better options at your place then contact an internet provider. They will upgrade your plan and send out a new modem. Easy!

Wireless

Wireless broadband uses 4G mobile networks. You’ll need a strong 4G signal at your place to get the best experience and connection speeds will vary as they can be impacted by interference from things like landscape, buildings and the weather.

Unlike ADSL, VDSL and fibre, the signal is shared with everyone using the network, which means performance can diminish at peak times when more people are trying to get online.

Bear in mind that unless you pay extra for a copper line, you’ll be removing yourself from the copper network. You’ll still have a landline if you opt for one, but it will operate off the wireless modem.  It would pay to check whether your existing home phones and security alarms will still operate if you go wireless. It’s also worth remembering that all wireless connections come with a data cap so unless you’re a low data user, this may not be the best connection for you.

Wireless may be an option for people who are too far from a cabinet to get a fast fixed connection. It may also be a good stop-gap for those waiting for better fixed broadband, such as fibre or VDSL, to become available. But check here to see when upgrades are happening at your place before you lock yourself into a contract.

Upgrade your connection now

About 60 percent of homes and businesses on our network could have a better broadband connection right now. A better connection generally means faster speeds, better quality and a more enjoyable experience online and it’s so easy to do. You can also use a site like Glimp or Broadband Compare to compare plans and options from different providers.

Click here to find out what broadband options are available in your area.

It’s important to note that no matter what broadband speed you have coming into your home, there are a number of other factors affecting the speed and performance of your internet. Some of them are easy to fix.

Keep in touch

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