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The Copper Broadband Network

Copper is muuuch more than just a type of metal!

Copper is the term that you will have heard used to describe the original broadband network in New Zealand (and in most places across the world).

Copper is basically the original telephone network within New Zealand.  It was the original communications network that delivers voice calls on your landline.  The first broadband network, the one that the majority of Kiwis still use is the copper network.  This is basically using the existing copper telephone lines to deliver broadband service.  Because this network is using existing infrastructure it is the most widely available broadband service, but broadband performance over copper can vary a lot, and there are 3 different types of technology that run on it - VDSL, ADSL2+ or ADSL – you can read more about those by clicking their ‘name’.

The copper network has a number of limitations, not least distance.  In the case of distance on the copper network, the further away you are from the telephone cabinet or telephone exchange, the slower your broadband speed will be.  The copper broadband network in New Zealand can deliver VDSL services within approximately 800m of the nearest telephone cabinet; ADSL 2+ within two kilometres of the cabinet and ADSL within six kilometres of the cabinet;

The copper network was designed for voice calls and the achievements made in repurposing it to deliver broadband internet should not be devalued, but it is a technology in terminal decline and fibre is very much the future of broadband in New Zealand.



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