Australia’s terrible broadband download speeds revealed

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A test of broadband speeds across 189 countries has found that Australia ranks 55th, well behind table-topper Singapore and even behind Kenya (51) and the Bahamas (49).

Speeds were measured by how long it took to download a 7.5GB film file.

Singapore came in at number one, where the file was downloaded in 18 minutes and 34 seconds with an average download speed of 55.13 megabits per second (Mbps). In Australia, it took two hours, 12 minutes and 57 seconds to download the file at an average speed of 7.7Mbps.

There were 28 countries that were able to download the file in under an hour, including the Czech Republic (26th) and Slovakia (23rd) and 52 countries were able to download the file in under two hours, including New Zealand (30th) and the Bahamas (49th).

The Kiwis had more than double the mean download speed of Australia with 16.6Mbps, and Australia was even behind Kenya, where they managed an average download speed of 8.83Mbps.

British broadband advice site cable.co.uk compiled data from more than 63 million broadband speed tests across 12 months in partnership with New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University’s PlanetLab and other partners.

“This data set has been queried for tests run in the year to 10 May 2017; in order to compile a league table of download speeds for countries, tests have been performed by at least 100 unique IP addresses,” according to the outline of the methodology.

Australia has been steadily falling further down this list, even as the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) continues.

NBN providers have been flooded by complaints from customers saying their connections are much slower than the speeds they previously enjoyed. One customer is receiving speeds up to 1/100 of what he believes he has paid for.

“As everyone else, I am getting 1 per cent (1 megabit per second or even less) of contracted speed (100Mbps) during peak times,” said the user. “After searching around I could see this is really a common Optus problem all around the country.”

Another user added: “Simply put, they (telcos) don’t purchase enough bandwidth from the NBN. They buy enough for 10 people but sell it to 100 people, so at peak times it’s useless.”

What do you think? Do we deserve faster internet speeds? Is this what you expected as the NBN started to be connected? What speeds do you get at home?

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Written by Ben

38 Comments

Total Comments: 38
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    It is embarrassing that even a country as small as New Zealand has faster download speeds than Australia. Malcolm Turnbull is to blame for this as it was his doing which gave us a third rate NBN which has so far cost more than the original fibre model.
    I have to admit that my NBN connection is one of the better ones and I do read about the many which are poor. My suggestion is nevertheless for users to ditch broadband and go NBN. I’m sure with a change in government in 2 years time this will be fixed with coalition media interests and trolls crying ‘cost’ all the way to the following election. A fix is nevertheless required as we are not a third world country (yet).

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      I don’t know about that MICK, i have broadband and i’m extremely happy with it, i don’t live on my computer. OH wait, yeh sometimes i do, I play scrabble and read this stuff and it takes all day. and i don’t have a problem with it. Plus if i go to NBN, they will happily UP the price, and i certainly don’t need that especially at this time in my life.
      The INternet Speeds can be good i think it depends on the network you take up and your provider, i’m so happy with mine i wouldn’t want to change. Although if i move, i may be forced too, as i see they are trying to offload everybody off the old system, and get them onto the NBN, probably cause they will get more money of them. and its probably a lot slower than what i have LOL. YEH thats a bit of a JOke Mick?

  2. 0
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    What do you expect from our USELESS government. Julia Gillard started a very good NBN project, but then came ABBOTT, and he could not carry on a project started by Julia, so he changed it, saying his was better and cheaper. However, he TOTALLY buggered it, and the connection to the node that he implemented worked out nearly as expensive bit totally USELESS. What a stupid stupid form of government we have where both parties are more concerned about scoring points of each other than actually running our country.

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      You never hear about who is responsible for the mess. You never hear who had the proper project. You never hear about debt either despite it having more than doubled in 5 years.
      Welcome to the right wing owned media!

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      It appears that the conservatives could not risk a successful NBN as they did not and do not want labor to get credit for positive good ideas. The appalling thing is that they are prepared to squander Australia’s future just for some out dated ideology.

      The LNP have finally convinced me that they are the worst economic managers ever!

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      Right on Mick. With fibre optics all the way there’d be no problem, but the cheapskate Li(e)berals/Fiberals blew it.

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      Yes Mike well thats what happens when the left hand don’t know what the right hand is doing. OH well i guess abbot was trying to be smarter, but it didn’t quiet work out that way. It won’t be long tho before many of us will be forced to take on the NBN, and the high prices that come with it:( Isn’t it typical) it be all about greed nothing good.

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      Yes Placido, they love to waste a lot, and they wasting taxpayers dollars hand over fist, they don’t care.
      they don’t know how to budget, i’m surprised we are not worse into debt. they are hopeless.

  3. 0
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    I wonder if the area you live in and where your NBN box is situated makes a lot of difference? As I am very, very, happy with my download speed. Everything happens instantly and compared to the old connection, this is super speed. Any faster and everybody will want to come and live here. Why compare everything to other countries. Hmmm I wonder if they complain about our houses being better, our food fresher, our lives happier, our abundancy of everything, apparently except in some places at the moment, just not fast enough. love to all.

  4. 0
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    My internet speed, via cable meant that video download from Netflix was buffering. Contacted Telstra who told me it was the modem as it was three years old. Installed new modem, charged me $200 for it and it is just as slow, around 7- 16 mbps, as the old one. Two phone calls, lasting an hour each, I am still waiting for the satchell to return the ‘new ‘modem and will have to continue receiving buffered video downloads and slow online download speeds. Despite the building being just 5 years old, no NBN until 2019.

  5. 0
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    I just have ADSL2+ and I’m happy with the internet speed I get.

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      Get NBN and you’ll get a real surprise.

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      Yes the Suprise will be most likely your NBN will be slower than your ADSL2+ ????????

    • 0
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      I’m 1.5 Klm from the Node and my speed has gone from 5 Mbs to over 11 on the 12 Mbs plan. Fibre to the Kerb would have been better but in my case only marginally for the speed I need.

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      I’m not unhappy about my ADSL2+ speed either, David, but there’s no way I’m taking up the NBN when (if) it comes to my regional location. I will go wireless before I fall into that iffy hole. I have family in the country who were forced onto the most hopeless NBN, that drops out mid-email and could be described as “intermittant” at best – much much worse than pre-NBN speeds and service.

      MICK, maybe you live in an area where the NBN providers buy up enough bandwidth to keep everyone happy? It would be interesting to draw a map of blue ribbon Liberal electorates and big business precincts and overlay it with a map of decent NBN speeds. (Not to suggest that you’re a Liberal voter, MICK – I know you’re not.) By the same token, then draw a map of non-Liberal electorates and overlay it with a map of very poor NBN speeds and service.

      The resultant maps may reveal why the Libs figured the dud node NBN they have imposed on us is good enough for Australia and Australians. Basically, it doesn’t matter to them because big business and the rich are the only ones they’re keen to serve.

  6. 0
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    I ordered NBN the day it became available in my street. Then spoke with a few people & heard about all their issues – drop outs, etc. Phoned back & cancelled. Will stay with cable until they fix their issues.

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      Lucky you, I live rural and no choice. Absolutely a disaster. Then they said they could only install – to my bedroom, not my office, without charging me an arm and a leg to move it. So now have to run cables through house. Slow as Buggery, freezes, and now dread any time I have to waste using the computer. Am Getting pretty sick and Tired of paying premium rate for 2nd rate service.

    • 0
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      Lucky you, I live rural and no choice. Absolutely a disaster. Then they said they could only install – to my bedroom, not my office, without charging me an arm and a leg to move it. So now have to run cables through house. Slow as Buggery, freezes, and now dread any time I have to waste using the computer. Am Getting pretty sick and Tired of paying premium rate for 2nd rate service.

    • 0
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      You don’t have NBN but have a “cable” – please explain. I’m sure the rest of us with clunky old landlines and routers would love to access your miraculous non-NBN cable connection.

  7. 0
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    I have only just been made to change to NBN. Cannot believe how slow it is! Much slower than my previous connection. And this is what we pay for?

  8. 0
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    I think we need a Royal Commission into telcos in general. They are thieving swine, pure and simple – blinded by greed and lust for ever-greater profits. The bandwidth is just part of the problem. It would be much better to go completely wireless, in my opinion.

  9. 0
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    I’m with Optus and we were one of the first areas in Qld to be connected to the NBN. Last night I checked my Download speed and it was an amazing 4.38Mbps, and the Upload speed was an incredible 1.0 Mbps. We previously had Cable internet and now with NBN I feel as though I have gone back to a dial up modem. Alf

  10. 0
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    I live in remote Qld. Our small town now has NBN. The download speed you get depends on a number of factors. Firstly, right near a node, the speed can be 100mps. The further you are from the node the greater the drop off in speed. My speed is now considerably greater than it was on ADSL2 at over 50mps. Our house is 400 metres from the nearest node. The second factor depends on what you pay for. The cheap providers buy bandwidth from NBN. Unfortunately many of them are buying too little bandwidth for the number of customers they have at a node. The speed goes down as the bandwidth is shared. Thirdly, providers such as Telstra give a choice of speeds and caps. For factors 2 and 3, the old adage applies, you get what you pay for. Message: do your homework and stop bitching! Under the original plan, towns like mine would have been left in the dark ages. Watch videos or catch up TV on computer in towns like mine. It was simply not possible before NBN.

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