Competition among Australian ISPs to perform well in the ACCC’s speed tests is delivering good results for fixed-line NBN customers, but some consumers continue to receive substantially slower speeds than available to other consumers on the same plan – in some cases as much as half the promised speed.
That’s according to the third Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) report from the ACCC, prepared by SamKnows.
The report rated TPG’s broadband service as the fastest this quarter, followed by Aussie Broadband, iiNet, Optus, Telstra and MyRepublic, with the latter picking up speed considerably on the last quarter.
Overall, 69% of all tests continued to achieve download speeds of above 90% of maximum plan speeds, while 7% of tests recorded less than 50% of the maximum.
“Industry says it is working hard to contact customers whose NBN connections aren’t able to deliver the maximum speeds of their plan,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims. “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 good news for customers is that broadband speeds did not slow significantly in the busy hours (7-11pm), with average speeds across all busy hours reducing by just 1 percentage point compared with the average. This was true for both standard speed plans and the increasing number of consumers on higher speed NBN plans.
NBN services continued to outperform ADSL services, with NBN plans sold with a maximum speed of 25 Mbps, on average achieving a download speed of 22.7 Mbps during the busy hour, three times the average busy hour download speed recorded for ADSL plans.
“We are pleased that the Measuring Broadband Australia program is being taken very seriously by internet service providers and is delivering noticeable improvements to customers’ broadband speeds,” Sims said.
Sims noted that NBN Co has reported that congestion has increased slightly in recent months, but that the ACCC report results don’t show an upward trend in congestion. Sims said that could be the result of traffic from ISPs that aren’t covered in the report.
“We want to encourage consumers, particularly those with smaller internet service providers, to register their interest in the program so we can provide statistically significant results for a wider range of services,” Sims said. “Volunteers are making a real difference to Australia’s broadband performance but we don’t yet have the full picture, and strongly encourage more people to sign up.”
Testing of 25, 50, and 100 Mbps plans and ADSL services took place in August 2018 and involved 950 NBN and ADSL services supplied by 15 ISPs, using 171,000 download speed tests. Results are statistically significant with a small sampling error.