Australia falls further behind in broadband speeds

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 07 March, 2019

Australia falls further behind in broadband speeds

Australia has fallen to an embarrassing 60th place on the global leaderboard for the fastest fixed broadband speeds, according to the latest Speedtest results from Ookla.

The Speedtest Global Index results for January 2019 found that Australia fell five places on the leaderboard during the month.

The nation managed a fixed broadband speed of just 33.28 Mbps, well below the global average of 55.52 Mbps. Meanwhile, average upload speed was 13.12 Mbps, less than half of the global average of 27.43 Mbps.

Australia’s internet seems even more sluggish compared to its regional peers. The world’s fastest broadband market, Singapore, recorded an average download speed of 197.04 Mbps, with second-placed Hong Kong achieving speeds of 169.4 Mbps.

New Zealand ranked 24th on the leaderboard with average download speeds of 85.56 Mbps, although it fell three places from the previous month.

Australia also scored behind a number of developing nations on the leaderboard, including Uruguay, Moldova, Trinidad and Tobago, and Estonia.

But NBN Co has been attempting to put a positive spin on the figures, noting that Australia’s current average fixed broadband speed has improved from around 26 Mbps six months ago.

In a blog post, NBN Co also published the results of research purporting to show that Australian broadband prices are relatively cheap by international standards.

The research, conducted by AlphaBeta, sought to compare the cost of broadband services in 22 countries around the world, based on the price of broadband when subtracting the value of bundled services including TV, mobile and other services.

While Australia had the fourth most expensive broadband prices among the 22 countries when measured in US dollars converted at market exchange rates, Australia was found to be the seventh most affordable market for broadband when measured by average price as a share of household income.

Australian broadband prices were found to be 1.4% of per capita income, compared to 0.8% for global leader France and 9.5% for the most relatively expensive market, India.

The analysis found that telecommunications prices have fallen 6% since 2000, even as the Consumer Price Index rose by 63%.

Meanwhile, in stark contrast to Australia’s fixed line performance, the market ranked sixth on the global leaderboard for mobile broadband speeds, with an average downlink speed of 56.7 Mbps. This is more than twice the global average of 25.38 Mbps.

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