Report: Most Australians Have Crappy Internet Speeds

While the rest of the world surges by with internet speeds that boggle the mind, Aussies sit on the bottom of the world jealously watching on with download speeds often below 24Mbps, according to a study out of the Government.

The survey, commissioned by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, found unsurprisingly that most Australians still have paltry internet download speeds when compared to the rest of the world.

7.1 million Australians are getting less than 24Mbps from the copper network, while 3.7 million others are located in areas where estimated peak speeds are less than 9Mbps. 920,000 customers have less than 4.8Mbps available.

While slow internet sucks, no internet is worse. The survey found that there are still 700,000 premises around the nation that are unable to get any broadband at all. These are the areas that will likely be prioritised from Turnbull's new multi-technology model (MTM) deployment, which includes fibre-to-the-node, HFC, satellite and high-speed wireless networks.

It isn't all bad news, however: a surprising 3.1 million Aussies have access to a high-speed broadband connection (over either fibre-to-the-node, hybrid fibre coaxial netoworks and fixed wireless networks). According to the survey, these folks achieve download speeds of between 25Mbps and 110Mbps. Good for them.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised a report into the speed of Australian broadband prior to his taking office, and has worked with NBN Co to compile the results. The Government and the NBN Co will use the data to prioritise National Broadband Network roll-out areas over the next few years.

The report was released in summary onto Malcolm Turnbull's website. The rest of the report, according to the SMH will be released soon, containing localised data.

Should the new question Aussie geeks ask each other be 'how slow is your internet?' rather than 'how fast?'. [Malcolm Turnbull via SMH]


    Wait, did I hear this right? That it's going to cost them more then the Labour partys original plan despite the fact that the lower cost was their initial promise to try and get votes even though that plan is just an upgrade to an already out of date network plan?

      Unfortunately i'm getting used to hearing about all these broken liberal election promises...

        The liberal seems a bit unneeded. No government's ever not broken a good number of promises.

        Although I think Colin Barnett (WA premier) is going for the record.

          No, the libs campaigned for the entire term of the last government by kicking up stink after stink saying the ALP couldn't be trusted and specifically declaring that trust was a huge issue in the election.

          They made a big deal of saying they would under promise and over deliver and there would be no surprises.

          Yes everyone knows pollies lie but when you specifically make trust and follow through an issue for four years and sink another government using those lines you then have to stick to what you say or it is a big problem that you should be called out on if you don't.

            Oh don't get me wrong, call them out on it sure. But Politicians lie about everything, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they'd like about lying or break promises about promises.

      Read this, "But in a damning assessment of the former NBN Co management and Labor’s policy, the company argued that the current financial estimates are wrong, and that the project would cost $72.9 billion in funding – instead of $44.1 billion - and take three extra years to complete."


      So in affect both sides are idiots.

        I'd rather have the better version though. The issue with Turnbull's approach is that it will fragment the type of service and level of internet access across the country. (of course, unless the household wants to pay for FTTH to be rolled out to them).
        It essentially risks creating many smaller broadband markets with haves and have nots in different suburbs across the country.

          You know bugged me about Labor's version - their system for deciding when areas were cabled was opaque and bizarre - instead of prioritising Rural and outer suburban areas (go to Coomera on the Gold Coast and ask those poor sods about their Internet speed!) they were pork barrelling Tasmania and sending fibre down streets with Foxtel cable.

          I'm hoping the new plan at least will rollout the service where it is needed most.

            That was the price of holding power in a minority government. They should have started in metropolitan areas though, to get it to the most people in the shortest amount of time. Even though, they would have needed it the least.
            Once you roll it out in major CBD's a lot of people would have seen the difference, and businesses would have capitalised on it. Then they could roll out in the areas with greatest need.

            Anyway, aside from the pork barreling, they were actually due to rollout in many non-pork barreled suburbs this year.

            In fact, I was meant to have NBN this month.

            But a few months ago, the contractors who had just started showing up in the street and doing work disappeared.

            Now I'm just sad. :(


              I never saw the huge fuss on "they shoulda started on X" place. The plan was to get 93% on fibre and the rest on satellite. So you were going to get it regardless whether it was in a few months or 10 years.

              The new plan delivers even *less* since its sticking to the 7% satellite already, dropping all their election promise build by dates AND the speed promises and finally effectively ignoring *ALL HFC AREAS*. Of course it's going to be cheaper if your not rolling out to the whole country anymore!

              And of course its gonna take longer as they "further reasses" all the builds.

                All I'm saying is if they wanted the project to have more popularity, politically, they should have started in city centres, where a significant proportion of the population live and work.

                It would have made, such a commitment, from a then opposition, to scrap the project and come up with something even shitter, far less likely. That's why there is a fuss on where they should have rolled out initially.

        Turnbull was saying in the election run-up that Labor's NBN will cost $90 billion. No-one knows where he got that figure from but he seems to've magically forgotten all about it

        But when you look at cost for outcome, labors is better value.

        If the assessment of labors NBN's true cost is accurate.

        One problem...

        The "new" 41billion review is effectively BS on 2 points -

        1) It still does not take into account on the costings for Telstra's Copper line which is *essential* to the FTTN planned roll outs

        2) The "improved" plan is essentially cutting out 30% of the populace which are on Cable since under the new plan their not getting any upgrades at all. So the "costing" is essentially just costing for rolling out for "70%" of the country only. Not the "full" 100%

          Assuming they don't change their mind again, they aren't leaving the HFC areas as is. The plan is to in-fill all the areas in the cable footprint that didn't actually get connected, and split segments to maintain the required quality of service.

          It also depends on them being able to purchase the HFC network off Telstra for a reasonable price, which might be a sticking point too ...

        Yeah, but didn't they miss the part about how the original NBN was going to turn a profit anyway? I think it was near 10% profit, so it was going to pay itself off quite rapidly and then some.

      Are you serious? Liberals made the mistake of promising anything while labour was in power. Labour refused to let liberal into anything to do with funding or budget in regards to things like the NBN, or that Gonski thing. Labour knew that they were stuffed, they knew that if they stayed in power by some miracle than they'd be in big trouble. The majority of their campaign was advertisement against liberals...they didn't say what they would do for Australia. I'll admit, Liberal is in strife for the empty promises. But they're only empty because labour set them up to be that way. I reckon Labour lied about the possible cost of the NBN, and as the libereals werent allowed to see the figures they were in shock about the ridiculous mess labour left. At least Liberals got the balls to tell Australia how it is, and how they're going to fix it.

    And in other news, the sky is blue.

    It cost Turnbull how much to get a report that he could easily get for free from the Kotaku comments section?

      Spot on there, mate. I still wonder who voted for these yahoos...

        Pensioners and halfwits.

        Oh and racist bogans.

          The majority from Melbourne too.

            I'm from Melbourne and I didn't vote for this mob

              I don't know anyone that did, not even extended friends or family. Maybe I just know lots of people that think the environment, education, womens rights, workplace rights, hospitals etc are more important than money.

    I dream of the day i can even get 24Mbps... 6/1 now.

      6/1 here as well, I don't see that changing any time soon unless I move elsewhere

      17/0.5 HFC and no infrastructure upgrade until 2040. Woo!

        That doesn't sound right for HFC. I'm standing on 40/1 on a regular basis. Are you using a cable or over wifi?

          Cable. Plain old Cable. We've had both the Router and Modem replaced in the last twelve months, so all I can guess is that they expect us to pay the extra $30 a month (Bringing the monthly cost to $150) for the Speed Pack.

      I'd be happy to get 6/1, I'm lucky to have half that, hooray for Telstras amazing ADSL2+!!!!

      Tell me about it. Best i can manage is 8.3/.8 according to speedtest. 24 would be awesome. I get high 40's via 4g, pity theres no data plan that would allow me to use it haha.

      yep, 24 would be amazing!

      *cough*still on adsl1*cough*

      on a lucky day >.>

      Start with 7-10MB/s down during peak times and 4-6MB/s off-peak - after 12 months, down to 1MB/s peak, 2-3MB/s offpeak. Upload is still steady at 0.5-0.95MB/s though.

      There is a line problem, but it's never going to be fixed (we don't have total connection loss so the ombudsman isn't interested, not a Telstra customer so they don't care, ISP has called techs out multiple times and fault has been logged as fixed but it's still happening so obviously not fixed). I also get crazy lagspikes and dropouts lasting 1-5 seconds every few minutes in wet weather - makes doing anything that requires a constant connection pretty much impossible.

    Aww yeah! But seriously the upload speed is appalling

      The upload thing really is a big issue no one talks about. Recently spending a bunch of time travelling and meeting people around the world. It's all, hey lets share and upload pictures. They can just upload gigabits of videos and pictures in no time. Where for me I have to pick a few, upload to drop boxes over night. It's pathetic.

        Yeah why do our upload speeds suck so much? Are companies just being tight? or is it the infrastructure?

        My cousin get 36mb down with his telstra cable but still only 1mb up, whats the deal

          It's the copper cabling. That's all it allows for. Not sure why. Science.

    my adsl2+ speed is about 10MB/sec on a good day in the last few months my ping has gone from 32ms to over 90ms I tested another modem and it had the same result, anyone know what would cause this?

      The network being generally shit? Contact your ISP and lodge a job.

        yeah contacted them they switched me to "high priority mode" now i i get a whopping 10.3MB/SEC and 81ms ping but couldn't tell me why it was no longer 32ms.. time to start looking at new isp or cable.

          Shitty cabling. Copper is affected by quality of cable, water in pits, etc.

      Ping is most affected by your distance from the server, if you're using you may have noticed that you can change which server you're testing the connection between which will give you different results, closer is usually better (this doesn't configure your connection permanently though). If you want lower ping move closer to your telstra exchange or the server you are pinging. Ping is a relative term here, it will always depend on which two points the ping is between.

    The question 'Aussie geeks' have been shouting for a couple of years now is why the hell is Turnbull determined to roll out FTTN when FTTP is far superior. Basically all the countries he pointed at that rolled out FTTN are now changing that to FTTP. Will Telstra just hand over the copper network for no extra cost when it now has value in a FTTN/HFC network compared to no value under Labor's FTTP network? Unlikely. Why did Turnbull ask the old NBNco board to resign without even meeting with them citing a lack of experience in rolling out networks and then bring in his own mates (all ex-Telstra executives apart from Simon Hackett) who had even less experience in rolling out networks? Why did the strategic review that was carried out over the last 2-3 months done when Ziggy came out afterwards in parliament and said that a lot of the numbers are still guesswork and estimations? Before the election both Abbott and Turbull used that a great word to explain their 'NBN' 's costing. That word was "bulletproof". How can a policy costing be "bulletproof" is it's based on guesswork? Why did Turnbull keep spouting before the election that the Labor NBN costs would spiral out of control to $90 billion when his strategic review has stated it would reach $73 billion max (and that's fully costed based on fact and not guestimation)?

    The questions go on with Malcolm deflecting any and all of these questions because he knows his policy is bullshit. Jason Clare has come in to be the Shadow Minister for Telecommunications and has shown that from having no experience at all in the area he's shown a great deal of understanding surrounding the NBN compared to someone who our Prime Minister said "built the internet in Australia". Watch any questions thrown at Turnbull, especially the one where he released the strategic review, and you'll see a politician sweating under pressure, spouting one-liners and talking about his mate's boat (he talked for 3-4 minutes about co-owning a boat with one of his NBNco lackies)

    Trust nothing Turnbull says. He has his own personal agenda as do the new NBNco board and it's nothing to do with providing the best infrastructure for Australia's future.

    Oh, and yeah, it's a given that Australia has crap internet. We've known it for years. I moved here 5 years ago and didn't understand why we have data limits here. I still don't understand. I'm also on the NBN now under Turnbull's magnificent plan. I have HFC and that's all my area will get. I can tell you the future is filled with download speeds dropping to lower than 1Mbps because of congestion during peak times because everyone on my street wants to use the internet at the same time. I won't even mention upload speeds which Turnbulls policy completely disregards. What an age we live in

      What a poor misguided fool I was to think Turnbull would have been a good PM.

    I'm on a 10mbps ADSL2+ connection, 500gb per month and it still makes me sad.

    The other issue is not just internet speeds, but download quotas - why can't we get truly unlimited plans like other parts of the world? My friend has 100mbps cable, but a 200gb monthly limit - which for a 100mbps connection, is mental. You could blast that in a day or two if you set your mind to it. I think it's with Optus, and it's not cheap, either.

    I talk to friends overseas who honestly laugh when they hear about 'download limits'. So not only do we have to contend with rubbish internet speed, we have criminally small download quotas that can cost an arm and a leg. Download limits impede our ability to do just about everything. I'm not talking about downloading terabytes of movies or games every month either. I'm talking about the freedom to do anything without fear of being capped - streaming to Twitch for example, or watching HD video content, running a game server from home, there's all manner of things we can't really do as much as we want.

    With all the digital distribution and streaming options for games, music, movies and everything else in the world today, we're so far behind the ball it's not even funny any more.

      I've actually heard from developers that opening servers in Australia is difficult for them because the idea of being "capped" doesn't exist to them and don't know of any place where it did, except for Australia.

      Last edited 06/01/14 2:43 pm

        Yeah it sucks, but then again we're one of the lowest population developed nation on the planet, with the biggest land area to boot. It's a shit physical problem we have that's compounded by a crap government.

          Crap former government.

          Last edited 06/01/14 5:23 pm

            crappy former government, even crappier current government.

            How so? The former government had a better plan and was already going ahead with it, that provided better service (FTTH), that reached more people (especially those who need it in further out areas) and wouldn't need to be upgraded as soon as FTTN. The current government has scrapped all that for an inferior plan on ALL accounts and now they say it's going to cost even MORE than what they were spruiking during the election.

            Lay off the liberal kool-Aid buddy.

            Last edited 07/01/14 9:36 am

              But but... Australia's open for business, stop the boats? King hit?

      It is really criminal my mum never u set stood the big deal until she discovered iveiw

      my plan is uimited, I'm sure theres something in the fine print somewhere but thankfully I don't use alot except the occasional game

      Trying to PC game with a. Internet cap is a nightmare

    We are never (read NEVER) ever getting internet that will at any stage be considered fast or acceptable when compared to the top internet speeds around the world.

    Until all the people on Kotaku get together and form their own party and somehow win the next election there is 0% chance of FTTH being available on a large scale.

    I live in Hong Kong, 1000Mbps, no upload or download quota. I'm not looking forward to crappy internet again after moving back to Australia in the future.

      Used to live in Japan. Fibre to my home for $30 a month. No caps. I saw top speeds of 24MB/sec. That's megabytes. Not Megabits. $30. I miss my fibre.

    A lot of things - your line could be faulty, the socket could be faulty, the phone cable could be too long, the phone cable might need replacing, there could be someone stealing your internets, you could have too many connections open on your torrents causing the modem to crash.

    try a different ethernet cable, socket in your computer. try a different computer. try a different socket in the house.

    process of elimination. you pretty much need to look at every part of what is involved in a network and see what you can change to improve it. anything inside your house is pretty much your responsibility to maintain and surprisingly stuff does degrade over time. it's something a lot of people fail to realise, that stuff does fail and degrade over time.

    try an isolation test where you've only got the modem plugged in with no filter and no phones or anything else plugged in (including foxtel).

    that being said, if you called up most ISPs and was complaining of a 90ms ping you will most likely get laughed at. there's a certain level of failure ISPs won't fix. for the ISP I was working for if your internet speed was above 1.5mbps then you had sweet chance of getting the problem fixed (contract stated that you recognise that and ADSL2+ connection was a speed more than 1.5mbps).

    source: way too much time as an ISP support tech. (thank god I'm no longer doing it).

    I only have three words.
    You don't say.

      goddammit we need the nic cage meme gif here stat!

    My friend who is in the FTTH region is currently with They are just reselling from AAPT and offer unmetered plans for both NBN and ADSL (admittedly I haven't looked to much into the ADSL side of things).

    I hope under the Lib's MTM that smaller ISP's like nbnsp can pop up and run a profitable company.

    It's a small step towards no quotas.

    Less than 9mps is crappy?

    Hell 1mbs is like a Ferrari rocket car to me p

    Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

      What are you going to do, vote for a third party candidate? Go ahead, throw away your vote! Ah-hahahahahaha!

        Simpsons quote for all those playing at home.... Well done sir!

    3.5Mbs club right here.

    It's not like I live in the country either, just 10km from Perth CBD.

    Hell, the "rich" area with the multi-million dollar houses across the street from me don't even get ADSL2/+

      Swan View here - 21/2.5 on Annex M with Internode. I understand that I can probably spit on my exchange though. Unfortunately telephone exchanges are normally where they could fit them and not where they made the most sense.

        Mullaloo here, just upgraded from adsl2 (which I had in padbury too) to 100mbps cable. I get around 36/3 and a 200gb limit.

        200gb is F/A when you start downloading games like bf4 (38gb). Hell, I had to download something like 8gb for forza twice because my xbone died...that would have severely impacted my monthly net usage on my old plan.

        I feel sorry for the people who can't afford or can't access fast net and big quotas, it's not fair on them when we are in such a net based time.

    Yeah I get like 500kb/s on a good day, with an 8gb cap. I'm not really even rural, like 5 min drive either way to a suburb, I would murder someone if it got me just 1mbps+ speeds with a higher cap.

    There has to be no doubt these guys are wanting to cripple the internet in favor of existing content distributors.

    Steam limiter is a fucking gem for people with shit quotas (which is of course ANY quota but since they're all but unavoidable for most of us...), I definitely suggest googling it if you download a lot of stuff on steam

      I second this notion - get Steam Limiter. My ISP "owns" a couple of steam servers that are considered uncapped data for my plan so this has saved my butt on so many occasions.
      Steam auto-update would wipe my quota out within a week or two, especially after grabbing a brand new game (obligatory day one patch, obligatory end of week patch yadda yadda yah).

      Unfortunately, although it saved my net when I downloaded Civ 5, some of the servers are so slow you may as well drive somewhere else and download it there (eg. Bigpond's servers average 100kb/s with heaps of dropping out on my average 3-4mbps net)

    The really criminal part about the broadband issue is this: We are told we have to compete intellectually. We are told we have to innovate. We are told that manufacturing jobs like Holden have to close and can't compete with Asia.

    Then we aren't given the tools to innovate. We aren't given access to fast upload speeds cheaply which could spur innovation in internet services. We aren't given access to cheap electricity and communications which we could use to develop new products and services. So the government is essentially shutting down industries, telling us we have to do more, but then not giving us anything to do more with. They're axing/burning the country but not sowing any seeds for the future. Broadband is only one issue of many. Just look at housing affordability for a total basket-case situation.

    This country is rapidly becoming a nightmare for anyone not born with access to $100,000 cash when they turn 21.

      This Government is only interested in reaching a surplus so it can say it did so. Surplus = brownie points with the uneducated populace at the next election.

      Unfortunately while the last government had the right ideas, they couldn't organise a proverbial piss up in a proverbial brewery

      This needs to be up voted plus one thousand. Everyone who says the Libs are 'business friendly' gets a free punch in the face.

      In Palmer we Trust. :P

    Months ago some men came to out street and rolled out Fiber, and it's been laying there, untouched, ever since.

    Has anyone taken into account the wastage which will result from leaving the cable, not only in my street, but in many others also, to rot?

    I live in an area where Telstra has serviced using Pair Gain technology - I'm not sure of the tech but it has been explained to me that one copper line serves two adjacent houses - essentially it's a cost saving thing for the privatised Telstra which has the effect of making ADSL2 impossible. Thanks Telstra and thanks governments (both sides) for yet another instance of mortgaging against your children's future for a quick buck (older established suburbs have no such problem because back then they built competent infrastructure.)

      that's an old fashioned technology where they didnt put in enough cables to service the demand for the area so they used pair gains back when a rotary phone was in each house and you'd only make 2-3 calls a day to say hi to granny.
      That tech was implemented way before Telstra was ever privatised

      Same here. I kicked up enough of a stink and eventually they gave me my own copper line though. It took many months and was extremely stressful and Telstra are completely and utterly useless. When they tell you they will do something, never EVER believe them and get everything in writing.

      If it's what I think it is, they aren't doing anything with any kind of technology. Each telecommunications cable has four wires - two sets of two. You only use one, so it means if you ever needed a fax line or a separate phone line for dial up (in the past), or ADSL (now), you use the second set.

      Sounds like they are cost cutting by running one cable to two houses and just splitting the two pairs up. Which is some serious bullshit.

    Live in burnie, tasmania. I'm paying for an 8mb + connection but rarely get above 5. Only live 2kms from the cbd. Shit sucks.

      Have they gotten around to putting up the Burnie statue yet?

        I know not of what you speak

          Burnie, from Roosterteeth, owned the "Burnie" website that the city of Burnie wanted in order to advertise their own city. He said he would give them the website if they put up a statue of himself holding a can of Fosters in one hand and a Platypus under his other arm. Then when they do to hold a parade in his honour, with him leading it towards the reveal of the statue.

            I've never heard of this, that's fucking lol

              They started selling Bobble Heads of the statue last year. Someone in Burnie took his and placed it outside City Hall and took a picture.

      you are paying for 'UP TO' 8mb. Huge difference

    The SMH also released a story about how Malcom Turnbull is considered as powerful as Jesus and is soon to be considered a co-redeemer, able to forgive sins, as Tony Abbot does.

    Last edited 06/01/14 5:24 pm

    *Looks at 100mbs internet

    * Feels strangely guilty

      I propose to all non AU people reading this, next month from Feb 1, I want you to stop using your internet when you hit 200gb until March 1.

      Further to what @nexi suggested, you have to halve your 200GB into even chunks and then assign one chunk to the hours of 0200-0800 and the rest of the day is all the other chunk. That's the real Australian internet experience.

      If you're lucky that is...


    I must be one of the 700,000 premises...

    I can't even get internet through the copper network! (my exchange is way too old)

    I have to use wireless "broadband"... I have never cracked download speeds above 400 kb/s.

    No 4G.

    Yay. Me.

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