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ADSL vs VDSL vs UFB

The installation of fibre optic cables in New Zealand has been a common topic in the news in recent times. Chorus, with the help of the Government, are the drivers behind this installation to provide New Zealanders with access to a much faster internet connection in the form of UFB (Ultrafast Fibre Broadband).

Although a faster internet connection is becoming available, does this mean the connection is necessarily available to you and is it worth the additional cost? In this article, we shed some light on the different internet connections available so that you can make a decision for yourself.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) – Uses a standard copper phone line to transmit data between the computers and devices in your home and the Internet. ADSL2+ is the faster variant of the standard ADSL but is only available if you live within 2km of an exchange (A physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers exchange internet traffic between networks). ADSL2+ is at a speed of around 11Mbps (megabits per second). This is still 200 time quicker than dial-up speed and is quick enough for downloading and streaming TV and videos. It’s easy to install, it’s suited for most businesses in New Zealand and is perfect for your general everyday uses.

VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) – Gives UFB a run for its money. It is not as quick nor does it have the stability of UFB, but at the comparatively reduced cost, it is still a great option for business and home connections. It uses the same copper phone line as ADSL broadband but provides faster speeds and greater capacity than ADSL. VDSL has been seen at speeds of up to 70Mbps. Installation only takes a couple of hours but the consistency of the connectivity speed can vary depending on your property’s location, condition of the copper wiring being used and how busy the local copper network is at that particular time

UFB – Is a fibre optic network being rolled out in major towns and cities across NZ. Data is transmitted through the fibre optic cables at a much higher speed than copper phone lines. Therefore, data travels at a higher speed making the use of online programmes much easier and quicker. UFB is currently not available everywhere just yet but it is fast becoming accessible to the majority of New Zealanders. It was reported in an article about the Chorus saga on Stuff.co.nz that roughly 75% of homes in New Zealand will have access to the UFB but rural areas will not. The new connection is more reliable and consistent with less latency and congestion. The network's speed will work up to 100Mbps and is fantastic for larger organisations or houses with multi-users. Installation can take up to a full day or a few small visits.

Is it worth the cost to change to UFB? It all depends on the needs of your business or household. It can prove costly and if you’re not near a major area with a big centre, there will be higher connection fees associated with linking up to the fibre network.

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