While fixed line broadband speeds in Australia are generally improving, some Australians are still experiencing substantially lower performance than their plan indicates.
The third Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) report was released early this week, prepared by SamKnows for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The report says testing showed download speeds of above 90 per cent of maximum plan speeds in 69% of cases, while seven per cent of tests recorded less than 50 per cent of the maximum. Download speeds during the very busy hours ranged from just over 61% of maximum plan speed to nearly 72%.
There were also differences between the city and the bush, although not great – with those in urban areas experiencing 84.8 per cent of maximum speeds on average compared with 83 per cent per cent in regional areas.
The report states:
“.. internet download performance is close to the maximum plan speeds offered by RSPs* for most Australians, but there is also a minority of users whose speeds are nowhere near those they ought to expect.”
Commenting on the results, ACCC Rod Sims said:
“We encourage customers who aren’t getting the speeds they expected to contact their internet service provider to see if they need to change plans. We will continue to closely monitor the progress of industry in remedying this issue.”
The testing reported involved 950 NBN and ADSL services supplied by 15 ISPs, using 171,000 performance tests in August 2018. The full Measuring Broadband Australia Report 3 can be downloaded here (PDF).
The Australian Federal Government has funded the ACCC to continue carrying out broadband performance monitoring and reporting through to 2021. Those wanting to join as volunteer testers can register their interest here.
Test results are only collected when the participant isn’t using their connection. The types of data collected via the SamKnows Whitebox that is connected to participants’ routers are download and upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss, DNS and website loading time.
Australians just generally curious to know how their own internet connection is performing can also use this speed test, which only takes around 30 seconds and is compatible with all connectivity technologies. It will indicate download and upload speeds, plus latency and jitter,
For some Australians, the NBN and fixed line broadband isn’t the only game in town. Non-NBN fixed wireless ISPs such as Lightning Broadband have been popping up, offering Australians a speedy alternative.
* RSP : Retail Service Provider