Internet performance analysis firm Ookla has reported that mobile internet in Australia is performing far better than fixed line broadband, confirming the NBN’s concerns that wireless is a genuine threat to the viability of the national network.
Ookla collected numbers from 3.6 million Australians who performed over 16.3 million broadband performance tests for their fixed-line connections using its popular Speedtest online tool over the second and third quarters this year.
Nationally mobile internet had an average of 44.2Mbps in download speed over the second and third quarters, compared to 24.12Mbps for fixed line over the same period. Upload speed was 14.32Mbps for mobile, while fixed line was 8.48Mbps.
Two weeks ago, NBN chief executive Bill Morrow expressed concerns that mobile internet was fast catching up to landline broadband in terms of performance and price, and asked for government intervention.
“It’s a threat that wasn’t envisaged by this government or the last when the business plans were put together,” Morrow said at the time.
“As soon as competitors eat into these margins through enhanced antenna technology, we’ve got a problem.”
The government already has plans to introduce a broadband levy of about $7 a month for NBN’s fixed line competitors, but also taxing everyone’s mobile plans is seen to be politically difficult and was ruled out by the prime minister after Morrow’s plea.
Among the three mobile networks, Telstra was crowned the best performer with a “speed score” of 45.28. The speed score is a metric created by Ookla to combine both download and upload statistics.
Telstra also came out on top when broken down by off-peak and evening peak hours, defined by Ookla as 7pm to 11pm. On average, mobile internet in Australia slowed 12.5% during the evening peak, which was slightly less fluctuation than fixed line’s 14.7%.
Predictably, Telstra was the fastest carrier in the majority of Australia’s largest cities. Vodafone was the winner for the lucky people of Geelong, which incredibly was the fastest city in the whole country for both mobile and fixed-line internet: