NBN Co: Aussie Internet Isn't Really Worse Than Kenya's

Image: iStock

The Akamai State of the Internet Report recently revealed that Kenya is getting 12.2Mbps as an average fixed-broadband internet speed.

Australia, on the other hand, is getting 11.1Mbps. But NBN Chief Network Engineering Officer Peter Ryan reckons there is an explanation for all of this.

Ryan posted a blog last night - here's the basic rundown of what he's saying.

Does Kenya – a country with a GDP per capita of US$1,455 per year – compared to Australia’s US$49,900 – really have faster broadband than Australia?

The answer, to put it bluntly, is no – unless you happen to live in one of the 180,000 lucky, perhaps wealthier residencies receiving Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) or Hybrid-Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) services. For the other near 9 million Kenyan homes there is no fixed-line broadband.

Kenya has a total fixed-broadband penetration rate of just 1.75 per cent – so, to be quite clear, that means 98 per cent of Kenya's households – that's around 8.8 million premises – don't even have a fixed-broadband connection. Australia has a total fixed-broadband penetration rate of around 90 per cent.

However, the Akamai figures don't reflect this. What they reflect is the tiny number of fixed-broadband circuits coming out of Kenya with average speeds of 12.2Mbps – and that's the number that gets reported, the 98 per cent of premises that don't have a fixed-broadband connection simply don't count.

Ryan goes on to say the way Akamai collates the figures doesn't tell the whole story - that Australia's number are "still really being driven by those legacy ADSL services that remain in the marketplace – not by NBN services".

"We want Australians to know that – despite the kind of misrepresentative, opportunistic reporting that goes on, by the time we complete the rollout in 2020 we will have a network to be proud of."

You can read the whole blog here.


    by the time we complete the rollout in 2020 we will have a network to be proud of

    Wasn't the network considered outdated on the day it was announced?

    • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

      This comment is not available.

      And wasn't everyone supposed to have been guaranteed 25M speeds by the end of 2016?

    At least he admits FTTP is better than the NBN setup, so I'll give him that.

      I doubt very much he had any say in the technology selected and has had to make do with what others have given him.

      I was just going to comment on the fact that he said FTTP & not "mixed technologies" lol.

    not only is it faster but its 10 times cheaper Mr Ryan

      OK you dont like that? to set up the internet in Kenya i bet it was 100x cheaper. Thats something deffo not to like!

        Yeah i hate our minimum wages, superannuation and all our being safe at work stuff. I wish we were more like Kenya in regards to work.

    Wasn't this a network that we were absolutely 100% assured would be completed(with Max speeds of 50 Mbps) by 2016?

    Based on objective facts, he's incorrect. Simply, those who have access to fixed internet in Kenya typically achieve better speeds than those in Australia who have access to fixed internet. Complaining that they are comparing apples to sour grapes(or white elephants, depending on metaphor choice) makes this all the more farcical.

      My entire town has FTTP installed, and yet most people are on 12 or 25 plans of those thatve switched, and with an astonishing 60% of the town still using the ADSL network infrastructure (which I used to get 4 down on a good day) which gets turned off in April next year so you could argue that because of the lack of adoption that the availability of fast internet isn't here because the average will still be below 10, and yet the entire population has easy access to 100 down.

      Its because of this your reasoning falls apart. If we took only 2% on my town the upper class and measured those speeds Katherine would average close to 100. Sure not 100% of Australia has a fixed internet connection, but a comparison between a 2% population stat to a 90% population stat is not a comparison at all.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now