Netflix: Australia’s Internet Is Pretty Bad Compared To The Rest Of The World

Netflix: Australia’s Internet Is Pretty Bad Compared To The Rest Of The World

We seriously need to step up out game: New Zealand has better internet than Australia. What’s going on here?

On its blog Netflix revealed its ISP Speed Index, naming and shaming Australia’s worst ISPs for Netflix, and pretty much confirming what we all know: Australia has some pretty bad internet.

Compared to the 29 countries currently using Netflix, Australia is ranked 19, behind New Zealand which is sitting pretty at 14.

According to Netflix, however, there is room for improvement. Higher than expected consumer demand for the Netflix service apparently impacted these numbers a bit, so we can expect better performance going forward.

But for those of you who want to check out which ISPs are running best on Netflix, you can check it out below…

Rank Provider Average speed (Mbps) Services offered
1 TPG 3.36 ADSL, NBN
2 Optus 3.27 ADSL, NBN, Cable
3 iiNet 3.24 ADSL, NBN, Cable
4 Primus 3.03 ADSL, NBN
5 Exetel 2.56 ADSL, NBN
6 Dodo 2.29 ADSL, NBN
7 Telstra 2.23 ADSL, NBN, Cable

Table via Lifehacker


      • As a TPG ADSL2+ user I’m usually able to support a HD Netflix stream and still play Destiny.

        Considering I’ve seen complaints from others about being unable to even get an HD stream going, I feel pretty lucky.

      • TPG and Optus cache Netflix data, so they’ll get higher readings from Netflix. Might not mean they have the fastest speeds overall, just with Netflix in particular.

        • Yeah, Optus has sacrificed everything else for the glory of Netflix. Normal Net usage on Optus is horrible.

    • We had a shot at it. But Australia would rather keep out refugees than have a better telecommunications infrastructure. Go figure.

    • Up until about a yr ago until one of my NZ mates moved to Aus I thought aus had better internet but he and a few others have told me its crap.

      But to be fair I only just got fibre a yr ago up until then I was on rubbish old adsl2+ and that was the case for the most on NZ bar the big centres. I do consider myself pretty lucky I live in a small town and am currently on 200/200 unlimited plan but I think the uptake of fibre is still pretty low in NZ only around 11% of people who can get fibre actually make the switch.

      • yeeeap, went from 130mbps cable to 11mpbs adsl, I still don’t know if I’m getting the 4k stream I have paid for with Netflix there should be an option in netflix to tell you what your currently viewing the show at.

          • Haven’t tried that, the netflix TV app says Not Available when you click info, I read about a video called Example Short 23.976 which is suppose to test your bitrate, but I cant find it on TV app, or xbox app or even on laptop.

          • on a laptop, push ctrl + Alt + D for the info screen half way down it will tell you the resolution it is currently streaming at

    • I’m suspecting only those who vote for the evil Empire who rules at the moment (even then I would doubt they would admit to being at fault)

    • I’m on the NBN. The actual NBN. With Fibre and shit. I tried to download a file tonight, a server application, and while at some points it would hit 3Mb/s (Only a third of what it’s meant to), most of the time it was idling around 10Kb/s.

      Yes, it was vastly better before Netflix launched. And Yes, I am surprised. And finally, Yes, I’m with iiNet

  • The sad part is that these are averages.. that means there’s a lot of people who have speeds below 512Kbps, but are paying for ADSL or ADSL2 speeds. Maybe there’s people trying to watch Netflix over dial-up?

    • I’ve got one choice in my area and it’s Telstra ADSL. We are “guranteed” 1.00 Mbps down and regularly have 0.6-0.9. So I hope that there’s some hope for others who are getting the rest of my guaranteed speed

  • I live right at the edge of an exchange and can manage Netflix on SD with a 1.5 connection. Just waiting for the nice NBN man to come and lay a short bit of fibre from the end of my driveway to my house. It’s annoying – just mere metres away, but I can’t connect to it yet!

    • I know your feel bro, two streets in every direction of my house has NBN…has been that way since november i’m pretty sure.

    • Try being in an MDU, heat map shows NBN as available to our address, but fat chance until they lay the nail in FTTP and start rolling out VDSL or FTTB instead.

    • Feel you there. Literally two days before the election, they finished installing NBN on the other side of my street.

      They moved their diggers and trucks over to my side of the street. Beautiful sweet NBN was coming!

      Then came the election. About a month of them sitting there doing nothing, then the equipment up and went one day.

      Effing other side of the street bastards. I’d string it over the street on the power poles if I could.

      • Make a deal with some people over the street? Go halves in cost, get a strong wifi router or some sort of mini microwave link going over the rooves?

        • You. You are a genius.
          You need a certificate saying “Somebody on the Internet called me a genius” and hang it somewhere.

          BRB, baking cookies for the people across the road as an ice breaker…

          • If you do this, you need to do a blog or something of the process so we can all bask in the glory of your victory 😀

    • Was just about to post this; I’ve had 0 streaming issues on TPG which to be honest came as quite the pleasant surprise. I was expecting at least a few issues =p

    • Well to be fair, as a Telstra user I’ve had no issues with Netflix either…

      And now I feel dirty for defending them.

      • Telstra would rank low because of all the regional customers for whom Telstra is the ONLY choice of provider, and it’s a crappy, expensive option. Paying 2-3 times what customers do in the metro areas for a fraction of the speed and reliability.

    • I’m in the same boat and HD Netflix is fine… most of the time. Couple in one other person in the household downloading or streaming at the same time and it buffers like mad, so much for ‘4 simultaneous streams’ perk with my Netflix plan.

      • If one other person watching kills it, you probably aren’t getting 4k and if you can’t have 4 streams at once, you can probably drop down to the mid level.

        • Yeah, I figured that one out pretty quick. Will definitely switch to the mid-tier plan, at least they gave us a 30 day trial period.

  • I’m a TPG user as well, they deserve a lot of credit for delivering an Internet service that is uncapped. I’ve had other people say ‘well my ISP gives me 300 GB which is effectively uncapped’. No it’s not! I download PS4 games, stream HD Netflix and upload tons of Dropbox content. I don’t even understand how anyone could go with an ISP that offers data caps.

    • Not everyone downloads huge amounts of content though so being uncapped is pointless. It’s like (to use the customary car analogy) buying a Ferrari when all you do is drive to the corner store every so often.

      • I lived in the UK for 5 years, you can get Fibre to the house and every ISP offers plans ‘uncapped’. So in effect, they’re all driving Ferraris. Wouldn’t you like to live in a country where everyone drives Ferraris?

      • Mmm…I can’t say I agree with that analogy. Someone who buys a Ferrari buys it because they want to own it, regardless of where or how far they plan to drive it.

        But I suppose everyone has different reasons for buying a car.

        I do however, agree that not everyone needs uncapped Internet. I have 500GB with Telstra cable and it’s everything I need. Between HD Netflix, online PC gaming, and downloading console and PC games, I go through around 300-400GB each month.

          • Unfortunately, neither TPG nor Dodo service my area. iinet and Optus have woeful service for my suburb, so that leaves Telstra.

            Believe that if I could get TPG I would.

      • I would be fine with a world where everyone drove to the corner store in a Ferrari.

        Ignoring that, we do live in a world where everyones car can go up anywhere between 150 to 200km/hour and the highest speed most of those vehicles will ever hit is 110-120km/hour at most, and will generally travel around 40-60km/hr.

        • I drive a 1L, 3 cylinder Daihatsu Charade, there is no way it can do 150kph, unless I dropped it over a cliff.

          That being said 0 – 60 is fine and uses next to nothing at the pump.

    • +1 for TPG. For all the complaints I’ve seen levelled at them online, I’ve been with them on an uncapped plan for years and never had a problem.

    • I’ve had a 200 GB limit for the last couple of years and have never had to curb my usage to fit within the monthly quota. As others have said; some people just don’t need an uncapped plan. Is it really that difficult for you to understand that some people aren’t downloading PS4 games, streaming HD Netflix and uploading tons of Dropbox content?

      • well in a forum that’s discussing Internet television (Netflix) hosted on a gaming forum website, then if you feel 200 GB will serve you now and in the future then all the best. I’d love to know how much you’re paying for that. $69 per month for uncapped Internet where I don’t even have to look at my monthly usage seems to be a no brainer in my opinion. Why don’t people support having an ISP market where data usage is irrelevant?

    • I used to pay $49.99/month for the 500gb plan (which is really 250 on peak/250 off peak (with the off peak hours being between 3:15am and 3:17am every second Wednesday, so really effectively only 250gb). After 2 weeks with Stan. I checked our usage and we’d already burned through 170 of our 250 on-peak usage. I immediately got on the phone with TPG and bumped us up to the unlimited plan, which is only $59.99 for us – I think it’s $69.99 if you have your phone line with them as well, which I should do since Telstra is charging me $45 just to have a landline that only exists for the ADSL since we only use our mobiles for phone calls.

      With the amount of Netflix viewing we’ve been doing unlimited was definitely the way to go. 300gigs might have been ok if we still watched normal TV but with literally everything we do involving a streaming connection nowadays, unlimited is the way to go.

      • Dodo has unlimited naked for less than that, and from my persona experience, better customer service than TPG (been a while since I was with TPG though).

    • I’m with internode on their 1200gb plan because my house of 8 people averages about 700-800gb a month and TPG isn’t available in my area (internode really needs to add a step between 400gb and 1200gb). atleasts at 14mbit my internet is faster than most apparently.

        • you’re kidding right? I made that mistake before I switched to node. massive speed fluctuations, ping spikes, random dcs, dns errors and sometimes loosing access to large chunks of the internet for no reason whatsoever. There is a reason they are responsible for over 50% of all complaints to the telecommunications ombudsman. Changed to node and all of my troubles disappeared overnight.

    • I’m only on 150GB but my xbox downloads are unmetered and so is my netflix I barely reach 100GB a month.

  • Does Internode come under iiNet, or want there enough users to be counted? I jag pretty solid experience through them with no real hiccups.

  • This data is actually a lot more meaningless than it first appears.
    Some random googling tells me that (theoretically) HD has about a 3.2Mbps bitrate and SD is about 1.5Mbps.
    So… Given that AU subscribers are a mix of SD and HD plans, wouldn’t this mess with the ‘average’?

    There are a lot of factors behind these results that aren’t the ISP, and it seems disingenuous to stick the names of ISPs next to numbers that indicate some sort of ‘ranking’ like this.

    • So what you are saying is that those on Telstra might intentionally throttle their streaming to SD?

      Makes sense considering how expensive their plans are….

      For Telstra a 200GB connection is $110 a month, compare that to;
      iiNet 600GB at $100 a month
      TPG Unlimited at $70 a month
      Optus Unlimited at $150 a month

      (All above are bundled plans to keep things as even as possible)

      That is pretty damning either way you look at it. Telstra has the slowest connection or their plans are so expensive that people are throttling their connections.

      • I’m saying that everyone could have flawless 100Mb fibre connection and numbers like this could still be produced.
        This is data from the trial month. How many customers trialled the SD plan, which would register a maximum download rate of about 1.5Mbps?
        It’s not necessarily anything to do with the ISP – they’d have to express the data in terms of performance vs expected 100% service rate to actually show how the connection affects things and therefore the quality of the ISP’s service.

  • I use iinet on ADSL2 I’m pretty sure. Don’t have any complaints, though I’m only running the SD package. Looks good enough for me.

  • I had Telstra Cable internet in Bella Vista and i was getting 4-6mb/s easy. Going from TPG for several years who are good on price, where i was relocated with telstra was a better service and everyone is renting telstra’s structure so does not matter who your with

    • Not everyone, actually. That whole ‘everyone rents Telstra’s network’ hasn’t been true, in general, for many years now.

      For ADSL, there are some built-in limitations which accompany the copper network of lines along the street and into your home, which is mostly Telstra’s network (and sometimes Optus – they did their own copper roll-outs in the 90s and early 00s). But a very large part of the network is the DSLAMs in the exchange (which essentially ‘power’ the service) and the routing paths that individual ISPs negotiate themselves to reach overseas addresses. And most providers have their own equipment in the exchanges now, as opposed to relying on Telstra’s as they did in the 90s and early 00s.

      So yes, if you’re experiencing drop-outs or slowdowns thanks to shitty copper on ADSL, then yes… that’s Telstra’s biz. But everything else – of which there is a LOT – that can affect speed or price? That’s on your ISP.

    • Telstra should be able to undercut second tier providers, not be double their price and half the downloads.

  • I’m not surprised by the results, being that Telstra is the most expensive and slowest of the bunch. But also remember that it also owns 50% of Foxtel, so it is in its best interest to not have fast internet speeds.

  • Of course NZ has higher average speeds – it is a much smaller place. Australia is one of the most sparsely populated places in the world so naturally any company will struggle to give everyone amazing speeds. Having the govt distort the market with the NBN doesn’t help either.

  • I wouldn’t bother raising this as a point to anyone who’s a technophobe.

    “Look, Netflix have said our internet’s shit compared to everyone else, the NBN was a great idea before Abbott botched it up completely”
    “Money’s better off spent elsewhere than so you can watch Netflix quicker”

    Yes this has been highlighted through Netflix, but slow internet holds back so many other areas of the economy like health and scientific research. But hey, that’s not important either since Abbott deemed it not necessary to have a Minister for Science in his Cabinet…

    • I use the line “businesses are upset that they can’t compete with Asian businesses” and “the NBN is like a tollroad that people are deperate to pay big bucks to use, it will pay for itself pretty quick and make a great profit, but thanks to Abbott it is only slightly cheaper to build and 1/25 as good”.

  • Higher than expected consumer demand for the Netflix service apparently impacted these numbers a bit…

    Higher than expected by who? Anyone who knows anything about piracy knows that this is a service Australia’s been incredibly hungry for.

    Note, I say… ‘knows anything about about piracy’. As opposed to all the people who TALK about piracy but don’t know anything about it. By which I mean any of the corporate interests whose business models are threatened by the wide-open pandora’s box of video on demand, or contrarian industry apologists who’ve ignorantly insisted on characterizing pirates as irredeemable tightasses who only want things for free.
    You know, as opposed to potential customers who are sick of receiving a shittier service with a smaller range at higher prices on fewer devices, delayed, with more restrictions in lower resolution.

    Oh well. Anything that rattles that myth and helps anyone who thinks ‘pirate=tightass’ pull their heads out of their asses is a good thing.

    (Oh, you meant higher than expected by Netflix and Australian ISPs? Well then, don’t mind me. Just stirring. ^.^)

    • I’m actually quite disappointed that there’s nothing in this blog but sweeping generalisations and some numbers that are dangerously lacking in context.

  • I’ve been using OzOnline for the past few months on I believe a Telstra port (ADSL2+), and Netflix has run perfectly fine in HD. Of course, any sort of downloads or heavy web browsing done at the same time results in a drop to 480p or lower, but I can deal with that. 1.4MB/s max (and around 1.1MB/s average) does the job. Do note that this is US Netflix account, however, if that changes anything besides the selection of things to watch.

  • I’ve very recently switched from Optus ADSL 2 to iiNet ADSL2 and picked up Netflix at the same time.

    Loving it so far: it’s faster, more reliable, a better data package AND cheaper to boot.
    Add to that uncapped Xbox Live downloads and I’m so glad that I changed.

    My old Optus connection would drop out (albeit briefly) every hour or two, which was just enough to make things like Destiny’s raids unplayable. Not a problem anymore.

    • oh God optus is rubbish…. I moved to internode ADSL about a year ago from optus ADSL and the difference is beyond belief. Not only is it much much much faster i get much more download for the same price

      EDIT: and the unmetered Xbox live download and unmetered Netflix is absolutely perfect for me

  • Like we didn’t already know our internet is fucked in this country.

    I’m on Dodo. I pay $66 a month for line rental and unlimited quote, but I can only get 8Mbps theoretical max. It’s usually 4-5. But so far, streaming Netflix in 720p has been good. I’ll occasionally get some picture degradation as my connection struggles, but it’s mostly pretty good.

  • I have a feeling those tables are wrong… shouldn’t it be MBps not Mbps? Surely people aren’t getting download speeds as low as 278kBps on Telstra? That’s ridiculous. I average upto 28Mbps (3.5MBps) on Telstra.

    Sort out your abbreviations people.

  • i can get 10mbps+ sometimes. except between about 6pm and 11pm where it drops to around 1mbps….. -_-

  • I’ve had AAPT, TPG, back to AAPT which was then bought out by iiNet and now Dodo – no speed change for me, except when a stupid builder cut the line.
    However, I just got NBN attached to my house, so I will now ring Dodo and get $70/m unlimited NBN!

  • This is a government that just spent 12 billion dollars on fighter jets instead of fixing the problems with communication (including mobile and internet), health, etc.

    • >.<

      God dammit. And guess which site has higher readership?

      I wonder if the author of that headline is just incompetent, or actually morally bankrupt.

  • I’m with Internode (iiNet) and can only use ADSL (no 2+) and for some reason I can stream multiple HD videos at the same time. I still have bad internet everywhere else (max 2mb/s on Steam) but streaming (whether it’s Netflix or YouTube) is fine!

  • Optus cable super fast plan, running a vpn to get US netflix, not uncommon to see the buffering window pop up…….

  • So unless Australia gets with it regarding the Internet infrastructre business and education et al. will lag. I am today attempting to do an online course and to watch a video on the course that is only 6 minutes long it has only loaded about 35% in the past 2 minutes. I even have time to write this comment. This is woeful it is not even the HD version. We have an unlimited Optus package we do not even have access to NBN and live within 2K of Adelaide. This is dreadful for a developed country, I really do wonder how this country has done as well as it has with the successive governments in office, no forward planning always reactionary and certainly they have wasted millions on rebranding this NBN – its laughable.

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