Australia's fast mobile broadband is killing landline, which is still slower than Kenya and Thailand

(Source: Akamai State of the Internet Report for 2017 Q1)

Australia is still dominating mobile broadband in the Asia-Pacific but progress on landline is steady, with the country re-entering the top 50 in the first quarter of this year.

Digital content delivery provider Akamai on Thursday released its quarterly report on broadband speeds around the world, finding Australia averaged 11.1Mbps for the quarter ending March 31. This was a 10% improvement from the 10.1Mbps recorded in the previous survey.

A typical residential ADSL service over the copper telephone line ranges from 1Mbps to 20Mbps, while the NBN retailers offer 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps tiers to most Australians. Netflix recommends at least 3Mbps for a reasonable experience of its streaming services in standard definition, 5Mbps for high definition and 25Mbps for ultra-high definition.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s state-owned Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network is delivering a minimum of 100Mbps.

Despite the rollout of the NBN now reaching deep into metropolitan areas, Australia’s mobile internet continues to comfortably outperform fixed line, averaging 15.7Mbps.

That speed again makes Australia the top country in the Asia-Pacific, somehow beating out other nations with far smaller territory to cover and higher population densities. Japan averaged 15.6Mbps while New Zealand and Taiwan tied for third with 13Mbps.

Mobile broadband speeds in the Asia-Pacific. (Source: Akamai State of the Internet Report for 2017 Q1)

Australia’s 11.1Mbps for non-mobile broadband was good for 50th in the world, just one place higher than the December quarter’s 51st and still slower than nations such as Kenya (43rd, 12.2Mbps) and Thailand (21st, 16Mbps).

At the top end, South Korea consolidated its lead over the rest of the world, bumping up its average speed by 9.3% to hit an incredible 28.6Mbps. The USA just snuck into the top 10 for the latest quarter with 18.7Mbps, at the expense of the Netherlands, which dropped down to 12th.

(Source: Akamai State of the Internet Report for 2017 Q1)

The Akamai report acknowledged NBN’s growing influence in Australia, noting the organisation’s aim to be covering half the nation (5.4 million premises) by the end of this month.

“[The NBN] reiterated confidence in reaching its 2020 goal of 8 million connected premises across the country, although it has missed milestones in the past,” the report stated.

The NBN’s plans to double the maximum speed of its fixed wireless service was also reported, as was Telstra’s February rollout of its Gigabit LTE mobile broadband, which can reach download speeds of 1Gbps (1000Mbps) and upload at 150Mbps.

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