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Broadband speeds: the fastest providers and how Canberra rates

By Ian Bushnell - 13 November 2017 7

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Canberra might be known as the ‘knowledge’ capital, but its internet speeds have not gotten the message. 

Canberra is languishing toward the back of the pack when it comes to fixed-line broadband speeds, according to data collected from the second and third quarters of 2017.

Despite being home to the Australian Public Service, Defence establishment and three universities, the ‘knowledge’ capital could manage only eighth out of the 12 most populous cities rated by ‘Ookla’, which operates ‘speedtest.net’, one of the internet’s most popular speed testing tools.

The Speed Score metric incorporates overall network speed performance for both download and upload speed, combining all factors that matter to a good network experience into a single score.

Wollongong came out on top with a Speed Score of a 94.31, followed by Geelong (94.26) and the Gold Coast (91.37). Canberra could only muster 35.21, with its fastest Internet Service Provider (ISP) being iiNet.

Then came Newcastle (57.36), Brisbane (49.19), Sydney (49.18 ) and Melbourne (44.29), while Darwin (34.34), Adelaide (31.09), Perth (28.44) and Hobart (27.8) pulled up the rear.

The average download speed in Canberra was 32.47Mpbs, while upload was 14.12Mpbs. This compares with frontrunner Wollongong with 33.72Mpbs and 19.78Mpbs, and Geelong, which Ookla said had the fastest mean download speed of 67.05Mpbs, nearly double that of the other cities.

The second fastest download speeds are in Brisbane and third fastest in Newcastle. Canberra was fifth fastest, while Perth and Adelaide were last and second last, respectively.

The report said Optus was the fastest provider in Australia with a Speed Score of 24.16, Telstra and TPG taking second and third place, respectively, with Speed Scores of 22.78 and 21.01. iiNet was fourth with 19.83, while iPrimus places last with 15.89.

Speed Score - Nationwide

However, Telstra was faster than Optus during peak hours, when congestion is greatest. But it was only the fastest provider in one city. iiNet and MyRepublic were each fastest in three of the 12 largest cities, and MyRepublic dominated those in New South Wales.

“As expected, fixed broadband speeds in Australia are slower during peak times with a 9.0 percent decline in mean download speed and a 9.2 percent decline in upload speed compared to overall performance and a 14.7 percent decline in mean download speed and a 15.2 percent decline in upload speed compared to off-peak performance. Off-peak speeds are faster than overall speeds with an increase of 6.8 percent in mean download speed and 7.1 percent in upload speed,” the report said.

City speeds based on average speeds for all results. ISP speeds based on Speed Score for all results.
City Download(Mbps) Upload(Mbps) Fastest ISP Speed Score
All hours 24.12 8.48 Optus

24.16
Peak (7-11 p.m) 21.96 7.70 Telstra

21.00
Off-peak 25.75 9.08 Optus

27.74

The data shows fixed broadband speeds are significantly slower than mobile speeds in Australia, with the mean download over fixed broadband 45.4 percent slower than over mobile, and uploads on fixed broadband are 40.8 percent slower than those on mobile.

Australia ranks 56th in the world for download speed, between Guam and the United Arab Emirates, and 73rd for upload speed, between Croatia and Fiji.

The average fixed download speed in Australia was 24.12 Mbps, 6.3 percent faster than that reported in the US during the first and second quarters of 2017. Average upload speed in the same period was 8.48 Mbps.
City speeds based on average speeds for all results. ISP speeds based on Speed Score for all results.
City Download(Mbps) Upload(Mbps) Fastest ISP Speed Score
Adelaide, South Australia 21.93 10.74 TPG

31.09
Brisbane, Queensland 35.08 23.56 Optus

49.19
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 32.47 14.12 iiNet

35.21
Darwin, Northern Territory 29.62 13.89 iiNet

34.34
Geelong, Victoria 67.05 22.15 iiNet

94.26
Gold Coast, Queensland 32.17 9.07 Optus

91.37
Hobart, Tasmania 27.25 11.74 Telstra

27.80
Melbourne, Victoria 31.63 20.58 Spirit

44.29
Newcastle, New South Wales 33.97 14.74 MyRepublic

57.36
Perth, Western Australia 17.90 7.59 TPG

28.44
Sydney, New South Wales 30.03 16.27 MyRepublic

49.18
Wollongong, New South Wales 33.72 19.78 MyRepublic

94.31

Source: speedtest.net

What do you think of Canberra’s rankings? Do you think the ACT Government should be more involved in this subject? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

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7 Responses to
Broadband speeds: the fastest providers and how Canberra rates
bj_ACT 2:43 pm 14 Nov 17

The Rollout plan for Canberra was woefully designed (probably to suit some Executives in the Communications department and NBN organisation).

How the Southern parts of Tuggeranong (where some customers don’t even get ADSL and have to use dial up) was not prioritised for NBN is beyond the pale.

http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/canberras-northsouth-divided-over-internet-surfing-and-the-nbn-20150910-gjjk0k.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-29/canberra-internet-black-spots-not-on-latest-nbn-rollout-plan/7553304

Phil on Mort 12:20 pm 14 Nov 17

mcs said :

The NBN rollout in Canberra has been bizarrely planned, as it has across the country.

We keep getting flyers in Turner that NBN is now available where we live – that’s all great and fine. The stupidity of it all is that it is FTTN technology, in a suburb where FTTN technology (with comparable speeds – we get 80+mb dl / 20 ul consistently) was already available through Iinet’s VDSL2 network. Now there are 2 networks in our suburb. Why would you prioritise rolling out the network in our area where there are other parts of the city with dreadful internet connections. Just stupid planning from NBNCo and by extension a failure of Governments of both persuasions to get the rollout right.

Believe it or not the doomed Northbourne Flats in Turner has FTTP. I lived there and only knew of myself in my block that took the service up; a good majority of the installations in the whole complex have sat idle the entire time and will now be bulldozed along with the rest of the it.

I applaud that residents there were given the chance for the NBN, but I can’t believe the money spent knowing that within a short time it will just be demolished; there was no mystery as to the fate of the complex at the time. Even with a dodgy installation company from Wollongong (that left open wire connections throughout the complex) it would have cost a packet of money, and with the small uptake by residents can only have been installed at a loss. It’s hard not to look at that as a numbers generating exercise by whoever made that decision, an acceptable loss for political gain.

mcs 9:40 am 14 Nov 17

The NBN rollout in Canberra has been bizarrely planned, as it has across the country.

We keep getting flyers in Turner that NBN is now available where we live – that’s all great and fine. The stupidity of it all is that it is FTTN technology, in a suburb where FTTN technology (with comparable speeds – we get 80+mb dl / 20 ul consistently) was already available through Iinet’s VDSL2 network. Now there are 2 networks in our suburb. Why would you prioritise rolling out the network in our area where there are other parts of the city with dreadful internet connections. Just stupid planning from NBNCo and by extension a failure of Governments of both persuasions to get the rollout right.

Dale Moore 1:36 am 14 Nov 17

@Andrewtt, I think all the highest speeds are in the richest suburbs that got nbn early, and suburbs like Calwell where you are, and Banks where I am, which still have crappy copper lines carrying our internet data, struggle to reach even half the theoretical maximum of ADSL2 (24 Mbps).
On a good day I might get up to 8 Mbps, on a bad day I’ve had it drop down to 400 kbps. And Banks is still not on NBN Co.’s radar. Even when/if it does, I might get a 256Mbps plan. I think it’s time for the ACT government to step in. It’s 2017. In NZ you can get 1000 Mbps plans. It’s time to get out of the dark ages!

local1 12:47 am 14 Nov 17

Narrabundah-5-6Mbps

Little Gezzy Bear 12:13 am 14 Nov 17

Have Optus NBN FTTP in the ACT, right now download speed is 93.97 Mbps, upload is 38.71 Mbps. On Optus 4G I’m getting download 74.30 Mbps, upload 2.23 Mbps.

andrewtt 8:29 pm 13 Nov 17

The average download speed in Canberra was 32.47Mpbs, while upload was 14.12Mpbs.

Canberra might be 5th, but some in the ACT must be getting some great speeds
In Calwell we get 3.24, ie 1/10 of canberras speed

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