Australia falls behind Kenya, Romania and Thailand in broadband speed rankings

The now-legendary photo of Usain Bolt in the men’s 100m semifinal at the Rio Olympic Games, by Cameron Spencer of Getty Images.

As the NBN is busily rolled out, Australia is falling further behind with the country now slumping to 50th in the latest quarterly broadband speed rankings.

According to consumer site, Australia fell four places year-on-year during the third quarter of 2016 in Akamai’s quarterly broadband rankings. This now places the nation behind Kenya, Romania and Thailand.

In some consolation, Australia’s average connection speed has improved significantly, going up 23% from 7.8Mbps in 2015 to 9.6Mbps for the third quarter of 2016.

The improvement in speed could be attributed to the growing reach of the NBN, which the company took credit for.

“NBN is connecting new users at the fastest rate yet seen in Australia, with more than 20,000 new homes now joining the NBN network every week, up from 10,000 new homes a week last year,” announced the NBN in response to the latest Akamai report.

The company stated more than 3.6 million homes are now covered by the NBN, equating to more than one third of Australia. However, this does not mean there are that many homes connected, as it is up to the property owner to take up a NBN product from a retail internet service provider.

Home owners have an 18-month grace period after the NBN is activated in their area to make the switch before old copper telephone lines are switched off.

According to the NBN, 74% of homes and businesses have migrated by the end of the 18-month window, a rate which is “in line with NBN’s corporate plan”.

South Korea comfortably tops the global rankings for average connection speeds with 26.3Mbps, leaving a big gap before its nearest rivals Hong Kong (20.1Mbps), Norway (20Mbps) and Sweden (19.7Mbps). New Zealand came in 40th with an average speed of 11.3Mbps.

Canada, which recently made headlines for declaring that internet connection is a basic service for its citizens like electricity and water, came in at 25th with 13.8Mbps.

Global rankings for average connection speeds. (Source: