Many NBN FTTN Users Still Battling Substandard Broadband

While Australians on NBN fixed-line connections generally experienced better speed performance in December last year, Fibre To The Node (FTTN) is still somewhat a problem child.

Measuring Broadband Australia

The latest Measuring Broadband Australia report notes the number of consumers experiencing under-performing broadband services has continued to slowly decline, but a significant proportion of fibre to the node (FTTN) connections are still delivering maximum speeds quite a bit below the maximum retail plan speed.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) Commissioner Anna Brakey encouraged NBN Co and retail service providers to provide assistance to affected customers.

“In many cases, these limited speeds are caused by modem or in-home wiring issues and can be fixed with a visit from a technician, or by moving consumers to lower and less expensive speed plans to ensure they receive the speeds they pay for."

The latter is fine unless you actually want the speed you're currently paying for.

First Fixed Wireless Results

In the latest Measuring Broadband Australia report, NBN fixed wireless comes under scrutiny for the first time.

NBN often uses this type of service in regional and remote areas where significant distances can present challenges, but outer metropolitan areas may also use NBN fixed wireless. Approximately 4 per cent of NBN users are on fixed wireless services.

In December last year, Australians on NBN fixed wireless connections experienced average speeds of 78.5 per cent of maximum plan speed, dropping to around 68.4 per cent of plan speed between 7-11pm.

“Despite the decline in speed, consumers on the fixed wireless network achieved sufficient speeds to access a range of internet applications during the busy evening hours," said Commissioner Brakey.

Again, that's little comfort if you want, or worse still, need, the speed you're paying for.

Fixed wireless doesn't need to be the poor cousin of broadband connectivity. Done right, it's robust, fast and reliable regardless of the time of day.

The full Measuring Broadband Australia report can be viewed here. On a related note, the ACCC is calling on Australian broadband customers to volunteer to participate in the program. Further details can be found here.

What's your connection like? Try our speed test, which works with all internet connection types and for users of NBN/non-NBN services.

Posted: 31 Mar 2021

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