NBN peak speeds ‘better than expected’ says ACCC

Australia’s consumer watchdog has revealed that National Broadband Network (NBN) speeds delivered by the country’s four biggest providers have improved in peak times.

The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that iiNet, Optus, Telstra and TPG are now delivering between 80 and just over 90 per cent of their maximum plan speeds during busy evening periods.

This means that an NBN 100 plan is more likely to achieve 80-90+ Mbps download speeds between the hours of 7pm-11pm than ever before. TPG was found to be a marginally higher performer than the rest, hitting close to 91 per cent of its maximum speeds in peak times.

The news comes in the first results from the ACCC’s ‘Measuring Broadband Australia’ testing program. Previously, all four telcos have had to compensate customers over misleading NBN speeds.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “These first test results are better than expected and indicate that the majority of internet service providers are now delivering very close to their maximum plan speeds… it is highly likely that just a few months ago these results would not have been anywhere near as good.”

The report also found that NBN 25 plans significantly outperformed ADSL services, finding that the average ADSL speed is 8Mbps compared to a 22-23Mbps average for NBN 25 plans.

It’s not all rosy

Despite the good news for some NBN customers, a fair portion of households are still not experiencing the speeds they signed up for, the Measuring Broadband Australia says.

The ACCC found that five per cent of services tested operated at less than 50 per cent of their maximum plan speeds. This means that some NBN 100 plans are achieving less than 50Mbps download speeds in peak times.

“The results for some types of services are still lower than we would like, but the overall results go against the current wisdom that the majority of consumers and businesses are having issues with NBN speeds,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC also found that fibre to the node (FTTN) connections that could not support maximum speeds were a factor in bringing down average speeds overall.

“We know that there are customers who are not getting the speeds that are being advertised. We hope that the transparency and the regularity of our broadband speed reports will encourage all retailers to ensure their customers are getting what they pay for,” Mr Sims added.

Broadband testing took place in February and March 2018 and involved 400 NBN and ADSL services supplied by more than 10 providers, reflecting 61,000 individual download speed tests.

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