REPORT: The NBN probably doesn't suck

You can ditch the phone line now. Picture: Getty Images

  • ISPs under pressure to deliver speeds they advertise
  • First report from ACCC program says major ISPs are sticking to speeds
  • Peak speeds only marginally below off-peak speeds

It’s only a survey of 400 people, so calm down.

But it’s the first report released by the ACCC out of its broadband testing scheme to show whether the NBN is working for real people, in the real world.

And the first report is… good. It found that major ISPs Telstra, Optus, iiNet and TPG were delivering speeds to customers that exceeded 80% of their stated plan speeds:

Source: Measuring Broadband Australia

There was barely a drop in those speeds during busy hours (7pm-11pm).

More than 60,000 speed tests were conducted across the ISPs, and more than 70% of those tests registered at least 90% of maximum plan speeds.

Upload speeds performed just as well:

Source: Measuring Broadband Australia

The only notable decrease was from users on a NBN fixed-line 100/40Mbps plan. They experienced “a slight decrease in average performance after 9pm”.

In particular, for those claiming they’ll stick with ADSL 2+ because they believe it’s faster than the NBN, the report found that even a switch to the lowest tier – NBN 25/5Mbps – would almost see speeds triple.

This is good news for the NBN network, despite the relatively small sample size, mainly because there’s rarely anything positive tied to an NBN headline.

In the past month or so, many ISPs, including those in the report, have been ordered to provide refunds to people who weren’t getting the speeds they were promised.

There will be more reports to come from the Measuring Broadband Australia scheme. Here’s the full first report.

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