NBN speeds still falling short, ACCC reports

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest broadband speed data shows some concerning results.

While most NBN fixed-line broadband customers are receiving relatively fast internet speeds, including during busy hours, there is still an important number who are receiving poor service, including around seven per cent of consumers who receive less than half of the maximum speed of their plan.

The ACCC’s second Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) report provides data on the performance of six major internet service providers (ISPs) – Aussie Broadband, iiNet, MyRepublic, Optus, Telstra and TPG.

Overall, 70 per cent of all tests continued to achieve download speeds of above 90 per cent of maximum plan speeds. This is largely in line with the results of the ACCC’s first MBA report.

Within this average, there remains considerable disparity in performance between ISPs with busy hour average speeds of between 74 and 88 per cent of maximum plan speeds.

One ISP who was lagging behind the field, Optus, recorded an improvement on the previous report’s result, which illustrates the benefit of the MBA program.

In general, speeds were not reduced significantly in the busy hours (7–11pm) with speeds for most ISPs about one percentage point below speeds recorded across all hours, and the download speeds for MyRepublic reduced by five percentage points.

“Whilst we are pleased to see that most customers are able to get fast, reliable broadband services even during busy hours, we must focus our attention on those who do not have this experience,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

In each report, the ACCC explores a particular issue in more depth. This report looks at the impact that ‘underperforming services’ are having on overall download speeds. These services do not achieve speeds that approach the maximum plan speeds at any time of the day.

Across the six ISPs, there is potential for speed results to improve by between 1.5 and 9.4 percentage points if these underperforming services instead reached close to the maximum plan speed.

“Overall, the results are encouraging, particularly when considering the significant recent migration of NBN customers to higher speed plans, where hard limits on individual connections to the network are more likely to impede services reaching their maximum speeds,” Mr Sims said.

However, the data highlights that there are areas for improvement and so should prompt further performance-based competition among the ISPs to close this gap for consumers.

“We urge providers to help customers obtain the full speeds associated with the plans they are acquiring,” Mr Sims said.

“We also expect ISPs to inform customers of the speeds achievable on their network connections, and better match the plans they offer to those speeds. The recent court enforceable undertakings accepted by the ACCC will help with this,” Mr Sims said.

Optus, which last quarter performed at the weak end of the field, significantly improved its download speeds in this quarter. The speeds of the other three ISPs from the initial report declined slightly.

The two new ISPs in this report book-end the field, with Aussie Broadband recording the highest speeds, and MyRepublic at the lower end of the range.

This quarter, the average download speeds recorded for the busy hours, as a percentage of maximum plan speed are: Aussie Broadband 88.3, TPG 85.6, iiNet 83.4, Optus 83.3, Telstra 79.9 and MyRepublic 74.4.

Are you happy with your broadband speeds? Which provider are you with?

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Written by Ben

83 Comments

Total Comments: 83
  1. 0
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    Telstra is the best for me by a long shot.

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      Of course it is, OG! The NBN has been a disaster. I hope that voters bear this in mind when they decide who gets their vote at the next general election. Another privatisation that has failed. Mitch Fifield, Communications Minister, has been making up stories all along.

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      Yes you are correct, voters should think carefully about who they vote for, Labor came up with a plan that wasn’t funded properly and as usual with Labor’s half baked plans someone else has to fix the problem, Labor allowed $33 billion to put the NBN to all homes with connection to the premises, the cost is already double that amount, and is only about half way complete, even though the system that has been put in isn’t the best available at least we have a system, under Labor it’s quite likely that we wouldn’t have a system at all, but you can change all of that at the next election.

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      Jim, I suppose you get your (mis)information from the Murdoch media. Labor allowed 43 billion dollars for the 93% FTTP rollout. It was a “do it once and do it with fibre” plan, the only approach that makes sense in the long run. Turnbull caused lots of delays retooling for his MTM disaster and renegotiating the deal with Telstra and other big telcos. The rollout will now take just as long, cost just as much, will cost Australia billions in lost opportunity and will have to be remedied at the cost of many more billions as soon as it’s finished. Don’t forget the ongoing maintenance costs and power requirements of FTTN, something that would not exist with FTTP.

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      My NBN is awesome and less than half the cot of what I was being charged before the NBN. I have wireless NBN which is more than adequate for me. When I have young adults living with me they use it all up and it slows down. I find the slower speed more than adequate for me as well.

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      Again ozimarco, you need to take your rose/red glasses off, the original costing by Labor was $33 billion the costing was for the proposed system was never achievable for the money that Labor assessed. As for my information it came from the horses mouth in Kevin Rudd, but every time there is mis information, of course the left love to blame the Murdoch media, instead of blaming those responsible, it was Labor mismanagement that got them kicked out of office and it will probably be the LNP mismanagement that will get them thrown out of office,that’s the only thing you can guarantee that whichever party is in will mismanage the economy until we get fed up and give the other lot a go and so it goes on.

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      Rudd system would never have worked as the amount of money they allocated would not have even paid for those in Sydney let alone the rest of Australia.

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      Hi Jim,

      Labor always said their plan would cost $43 billion. The LNP said it could do it much cheaper, for $29 billion, as well as faster and more affordably. https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/358258/government_under_fire_from_independents_over_43_billion_nbn_price_tag/
      None of the LNP predictions have come to fruition. The current MTM rollout is not only more expensive but, because it is a second-rate network, it comes at a cost in lost economic opportunity as well as ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs.

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      Telstra was not even on the list OG.
      Speeds are pretty good compared to the past but users need to avoid telcos like Optus who did terrible things to us in the past. User beware!
      The other issue is that many telcos have been bought up by Optus and you may think you are free of this bad bad telco but have them by default.
      We need real laws to protect the public in this industry but all we ever get is lies and more talk as the bad behaviour continues. Sound familiar?

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      Telstra should be as it is the best I have found for both reliability, speed and price.

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      My apologies ozimarco, I have just gone back to the original document released by the government in 2009, the paper stated that the government was prepared to invest up to $43 billion, their initial amount for investment over an 8 yea are period was expected to be $38 billion, although that investment would in the most part be by private investors including funds from BAF, the total interest bill was expected to be between $800/$900 million, the system was to be FTTP except in remote areas, which satellites were the preferred method of delivery. Government initial investment was $4.9 billion, I can’t find any reference that shows any details of any other money being invested. It still seems obvious to me that the proposed system could not have been achieved with the funding model that was proposed, but there is no accurate way of coming to a conclusion as to which model would have been better. Nevertheless my apology still stands I was relying on memory, perhaps not the best way to commentate.

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      Jim, the NBN was gutted by the Lieberals, who opposed fibre all the way. Don’t blame Labor.

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      OG “Telstra should be as it is the best I have found for both reliability, speed and price.”

      In the city, Optus leaves Telstra for dead in terms of price.

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      I am impressed Knows-a-lot. Your assessment of WHO created the third rate service we all have is correct.
      Out of interest you may want to look up ‘Dunedin, New Zealand’ which has trouble free FTTP. Read and weep. That is what we could and should have had. Thank the media for promoting its Party into office.

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      No knows-a-lot, the system that Labor proposed was never going to work it was never funded properly, Labor knew that Rudd was a dud that’s why they got rid him first time round then found Gillard was worse in their opinion so brought Rudd the dud back, the public in their infinite wisdom got rid of Rudd the dud, now we have Short on ideas to look forward to, the only reason we have a system at all is because the LNP managed to cobble something together, if Labor had still been in office most people would still be on ADSL or worst case dial up, but people that look through their rose tinted glasses will always come up with an excuse to take the blame away from the real cause. Never funded nor affordable, but isn’t that the usual way for Labor!

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      That is the official Liberal Party line Jim.
      The facts are that Turnbull thought he could marry old technology and new technology. He couldn’t and the result was a huge amount of money being poured into the exchanges when they should have been built for fibre. Had nothing to do with Labor and you are promoting one of the right wing lies which the bastards circulate to explain away this government’s incompetence and negligence.

    • 0
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      No Mick it is you that is promoting the Labor left wing lie, I defies belief that you and your cohorts are still believers in the lie, I will try and give you a brief understanding, probably to no avail but here goes, the proposed system by Labor was to put fibre to everyone’s home, now in a large town of say 2500,000 people if they represented households of say 50,000, forgetting how long it would take to run the fibre to a mains point, then you would have to run fibre from the main to the premises, if they managed 4 connections a day that would take 12,500 days, I will let you work out how many years, of course you could divide that amount by the amount of crews that you had doing the work once they were trained of course, now none of that is impossible, anything is possible if you throw vasts amounts of money at the problem, that’s the area your ideas falls down, we don’t have vasts amount of money unless of course we take it from somewhere else or borrow it, which was Labor’s idea, at a cost of 800/900 million dollars interest, which would have been a burden on any future government, which again is the Labor way, borrow then leave the debt for others to figure out how to pay for it, that’s why we are in the predicament we are now, it’s easy to create a debt but much harder when the debt has to be repayed which the Libs are attempting to do, forget the cry that the debt is much greater now than it was under the previous Labor government, of course it is because that is the big Labor con create the debt and leave it and the accrued interest to some one else. Back to the system that the Libs have put in, the cost is probably about a quarter of the cost that the Labor system would have cost and because the connection to the main is WIFI no installation is needed, that’s the only reason many people already have access to the NBN remember the 12,500 days you would have needed to have a physical connection, is the system the best available no it isn’t, it would probably have taken 20 or more years to install the Labor system!

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      Figure should have been 250,000.

  2. 0
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    Aussie Broadband is the best RSP in Australia at the moment. Not the cheapest but the best. Fast speeds and excellent customer support solely based in Australia.

  3. 0
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    I’m with Telstra. My download speed at 8:50 this morning was 11.23 mbps! Dial-up was better than this!

  4. 0
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    I was critical of my internet speed until I bought a new IPad, I couldn’t believe the difference in speed, I am with Optus the speed now is more than anything that I need it for, I just wonder how many people like myself are using older outdated equipment?

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      I agree as I have seen that happen many times.

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      Optus? We used to be with Optus until they disconnected our service for 2 months (their negligence) and would not fix the issue. Good luck Jim. The best advice I could give anyone with Optus is to consider a change before they get what we had. No way of describing the stress and then in the end the mandatory compensation as laid down in legislation was not paid. Wonderful company….to be avoided I might think.

    • 0
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      All I can say is that I have been with Optus for about 10 years, I have never had any problems, none that I can recall anyway. Don’t know if I have just been lucky or if my requirement and expectations are lower than others, I mainly use mine for emails, booking holidays etc, I don’t do any streaming although I do use Skype and FaceTime is that classed as streaming?

    • 0
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      MICK, Optus are vastly better than the dreadful Vodafone.

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      Agreed Knows-a-lot….but you would not think so if they had done to you what they did to us. Two months without phone or internet. Nothing to do with us. Their negligence but ours to fix at our cost.
      We had 10 years of relatively good time with Optus before the above but the fact that they would do that to anybody says a lot about this organisation.
      Good luck to you if this happens to you. There are better ISPs to deal with…although Optus has been buying up one after the other.

    • 0
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      Yes Jim, Apple have been sued for slowing down their superseded models with software updates. You really HAVE to have their latest product.

  5. 0
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    My Republic here. We have had NBN for a year now and it is all working well for us. Speed is variable but the plan is 100bps, unlimited downloads, free landline with unrestricted phone calls within Australia included for $69 per month. Speed drops at peak times but is otherwise pretty good.

    • 0
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      East of Toowoomba, I hope, for your sake, that is 100Mbps. People who stream a lot do not want their speed to drop significantly at peak times, hence they prefer to pay more for a reliably fast service like Aussie Broadband.

  6. 0
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    If the NBN is so good with copper from the nodes to the house why has this PM got fibre to his house in point piper I am just going to wait for 5g

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      Ha, ha, ha. A bit like Turnbull commenting on having to pay tax the day the ATO announced it would be targeting tradies this year. Turnbull stated “you have to pay tax” with an ear to ear grin….presumably because he has an offshore tax shelter and does not have to pay the rate of tax other Australians do.
      Tell me about rules for some, different rules for others. The top 1% are quite obnoxious human beings, generally without much empathy for others.

    • 0
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      Enjoy the drop outs with 5g – nothing beats hardwire (or optic cable)

  7. 0
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    Why does this article start off by suggesting that the NBN is having problems with the speed of downloads when it is actually the fault of the ISP’s? As the article proceeds, it is clear that only the ISP’s were causing the problems, not the NBN. The NBN is a wholesale provider which only sells to the ISP’s who, in turn, are retail providers who onsell to the general public. If the ISP’s do not purchase enough broadband width from NBN, they cannot provide the promised speeds. Our ISP, Telstra, constantly provides almost the speed we agreed on. We have had no outtages except when there is a power cut.

    • 0
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      You should not extrapolate your personal experience to that of the rest of the country. Many FTTN customers could not get the speed they were paying for because of their distance from the node. FTTN is actually VDSL and, just like ADSL, is distance-dependent. Now, RSPs are being forced to tell customers what sort of speed they can expect on their connection so that they can select a plan with the speed achievable on their connection.
      Also, those on Fixed Wireless cannot sign up for a plan faster than 50Mbps. In practice, many FW customers experience extremely poor speeds at peak times because of their tower being congested. This is not the fault of the RSP but is due to poor design by the NBN, who say they never expected so many people to sign up for FW and use their connection the way they use it. Go figure!

    • 0
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      Gee ozimarco, you’ve drawn a long bow there. The article asks two simple questions which are “Are you happy with your broadband speeds? Which provider are you with?”. I thought that I had followed the rules and answered to two questions correctly. I am happy with our broadband speeds and our provider is Telstra.

      I have not, in any way, extended the application of a method to an unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar methods will be applicable. Unlike you, I have no idea how the rest of the country is faring. Actually I’ll go as far as saying that I have no idea how my neighbours are faring. Would that we were all gifted with your ability to know all things

    • 0
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      Old man, the gist of my reply was that I do not agree that RSPs are always to blame for slow speeds as you stated in the first sentence of your post. I explained that it is often the way the NBN has been designed, particularly in the case of FTTN and FW, that is the cause of degraded performance.

      It is true that, in many cases, customers were not getting the promised speeds because of RSPs skimping on CVC. I was replying to your incorrect blanket statement that slow speeds are the fault of RSPs and not the NBN.

      Please do not take it personally. I do not know you from a bar of soap.

    • 0
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      OM – you have a point but the NBN is not exactly problem free. The issue you are describing is ISPs who do not buy enough bandwidth (from the NBN) and then get caught short during peak times. That is called a business model and customers need to inconvenience themselves and vote with their feet or else grin and bear it.

    • 0
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      I just checked the local NBN progress. We may be getting FW by June 2019. I suppose that’s because we’re almost 50kms from the Perth CBD.

    • 0
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      Geeze….living near Perth normally means sending smoke signals. Don’t worry though. You’ll likely get dial-up shortly. Chuckle….

    • 0
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      The issue with not receiving the higher speeds due to distance from the node still reflects back on the ISP’s, they should not have sold products incapable of the speeds which they knew the system could not provide.

  8. 0
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    Switched to Telstra NBN and have no complaints.
    Great speeds and never had any dropouts

  9. 0
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    I have been with Aussie Broadband for approx 12 months during that time not one dropout or slow down of speed. Aust based great service no contract.
    We are on the 12/1 speed 50gb/mth for $40 with a voip phone plan $15/mth for over 60’s which includes local/ national and calls to mobiles. Speed is always 11.5/ .90 any time of the day, may not be the cheapest but reliability and Aust based does it for us.

  10. 0
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    OG et al. I live in a retirement village. A Telstra spokesperson guaranteed that we would all receive AT LEAST 25 Mbps download speeds. And pigs might fly!

    • 0
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      Hi Rosscoe, if you signed up for 25/5Mbps, then you definitely won’t get the full 25Mbps, but, if you signed up for 50/20Mbps, then the Telstra rep was probably right. A lot will depend on the flavour of NBN deployed in your retirement village. If it is FTTP, you should get close to the speed you signed up for.

    • 0
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      Download SpeedTest by Okla, run the thing several times a day, record the results and then ask for a refund it the service is faulty.

    • 0
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      just did that Mick. My ADSL2+ is 4.81/0.61. It’s faster than I can type but can’t use my tablet while Netflix is on the TV.

    • 0
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      That’s because you are downloading video which is a sponge soaking up bandwidth. If you have 4.81 Mbps download then that is likely too little for the Netflix let alone anything else. Solution: get a bigger plan???? Talk to your ISP.

    • 0
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      Theo1943 – any speed test you do should preferably be on a computer connected by cable to the modem/router AND ensure no other device including the computer you are using is downloading at the time of the test.

    • 0
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      Mick, I’m on ADSL, there is no other plan available to me.
      Greg, please believe me when I say I know how the internet thingy connections work and that I do know how to measure my download speeds. I’ve used audio modems and everything else since.

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