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Internet Speeds

While ADSL is a flat rate speed and you only choose your data cap, UFB is all about speed. The first thing you choose when signing up is the speed you want.

Upload and download speeds are measured in “bits per second”, usually “megabits per second” (Mb/s or Mbps).

Plans list speeds as X/Y Mbps, where X is download speed and Y is upload speed. For example, some UFB plans are advertised as 100/20. Download speeds are important for internet tasks such as surfing websites or watching video streaming services. Upload speeds are how quickly you can send stuff, such as attaching files to an email, uploading video to YouTube, or sending photos to a cloud service. So the bigger the files you want to send, the faster the upload speed you’ll want.

Fibre plans start with download speeds of 30Mbps and can go up to 200Mbps, with 100Mbps being the most common. Upload speeds don’t have as much variation, with most offering from 10Mbps to 20Mbps, though there are plans with 50Mbps and some “synchronous” 100/100 plans available.

The step up from ADSL to fibre is astounding; for most consumers ADSL’s download speed reaches 10-15Mbps at the best of times and usually sits closer to 5Mbps.

If you think about download speeds as the time taken to transfer a file, the difference is clear. For example, downloading a 5GB file goes from roughly an hour on ADSL to 22 minutes on a 30Mbps plan, and on a 100Mbps plan it’s only 6 minutes!

After a competition run by Chorus, some parts of Dunedin can get Gigabit (Gbps) plans, which are the fastest speeds currently available at 1000/500 Mbps. Ultrafast Fibre, which is building the network in Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, New Plymouth, Tokoroa, Hawera, Whanganui and Tauranga, also has Gigabit plans on offer. Downloading a 5GB file on a Gigabit plan takes 40 seconds.

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