China and Kazakhstan have faster internet than Australia
Australia is ranked behind New Zealand, China, Kazakhstan, and a host of other countries, when it comes to fixed broadband speed.
Australia dropped to spot 62 in the global speed ranking for fixed internet broadband, behind a myriad of other developed and developing nations.
It comes as Australia is moving towards faster and more reliable internet connections under the National Broadband Network, which is set to be completed next year.
Last year, Australia was ranked 50th but has fallen 12 spots in 12 months to now be 62nd.
Singapore, Hong Kong, Monaco, South Korea and Hungary hold the top six spots in the latest Ookla Speed Global Index for broadband speed.
And countries including Montenegro, Paraguay, and Kazakhstan are also doing better than Australia.
According to the index, Australia’s download speed improved from 28.3Mbps to 35.11Mbps in March – but is well below the global average of 57.91 Mbps.
Australia’s mobile internet speed however performed well and is ranked at place five globally.
Government figures show 75 per cent of all homes can connect to the National Broadband Network, and more than 90 per cent of all regional households.
It’s been in the works for the past 10 years and cost more than 50 billion dollars.
Expert take on the results
Damian Manuel, the director of the Deakin University cybersecurity research and innovation centre, said there are a number of factors for Australia’s bad fixed broadband numbers.
“Many people who take part in such tests have an internet connectivity problem, so the line might not show the true speed test that the line can achieve”, he said.
“The other factor to consider is Australia is quite a large country and a lot of people still use ADSL or choose a lower speed NBN broadband package, so they do not reach the huge speed levels that you could get from the NBN.”
He also added that the number of people required to take part in tests were cut down from over 3000 to 300, which made the sample size much smaller.
Ray Shaw, the managing editor of Gadget Guy, a publication aimed at demystifying technology for consumers, echoed some of these points, including that many people were still on ADSL or smaller NBN packages.
Mr Shaw said there’s a good reason why people here opt for slower options, explaining that the internet is on average more expensive in Australia than in many other countries.
“Therefore people don’t tend to spend as much on their internet”, he said.
In Australia, he said, “one hundred dollars a month gives people an average of all you can eat, 100 megabit per second service, but if you are in Singapore, which is around 200 megabits per second standard speed, you are paying about 25 dollars a month”.
That’s due to the large size of the country, he said, as well as the smaller population size.
Both experts also said that Australia’s infrastructure and reliance on mixed technology rather than on a fiber to the home technology was also to blame.
“Those that were lucky enough to get fiber to their home have got a fantastic service,” Mr Manuel explained.
“Having that blended mixed technology will make the network less resilient and more difficult to manage as time goes by and it’s a shame that we did not stick with the original fiber to the home,” he added.
Mr Shaw emphasized that if people are not happy with their internet speed they should complain to their internet provider or contact their telecommunication industry ombudsman to lodge a complaint online.
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