Australia’s Department of Communications reckons Australians can expect and will only need broadband speeds of 49Mbps in 2026.
New Zealanders can access speeds 10 times as fast, right now.
And even Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has opted for the 100Mbps plan (taxpayer-funded) at his Point Piper home, having assured Australians in the past they’ll rarely ever need more than 6Mpbs.
The Green’s NBN spokesperson, senator Jordon Steele-John, says claims in the report, “Future Trends in Bandwidth Demand”, that below 50mbps is in line with Australians’ requirements in the year 2026 is comical.
The report says only 2% will demand more than that.
We’ll get an idea of how far wrong that statement is within months. Right now in 2018, Telstra is upgrading its customers’ broadband speeds to the 2026 standard — for free.
More than 850,000 Telstra customers will be upgraded from their current 25/5Mpbs plans to 50/20Mbps plans for free over the next couple of months.
It’s a move that’s been coming since NBN Co in December cut the wholesale cost of the 50Mbps plans to the same price as the 25Mbps plan.
Telstra has effectively now passed it on to consumers and removed the 25Mbps plan.
It’s also providing a Smart Modem with 4G mobile backup for new customers on a $79 monthly plan, which can be used while they wait for a fixed service to be connected to their home.
So that’s up to 50Mpbs now, whether your home is connected to the NBN or not. Note that those speeds will only apply if you’re already maxing out your 25Mbps and have the capacity to push it further. If you struggle to reach 15Mbps, the upgrade won’t magic you up to 30 and beyond.
But as for claims that 98% of Australians will require less than 50Mpbs in 2026, here’s a relevant line from the Telstra release from Jana Kotatko, Head of Fixed Products at Telstra, noting that:
“As the popularity of streaming content like Foxtel Now and Netflix continues to grow, we’re seeing data on our fixed network increase by about 40% each year.”
That doesn’t sound promising for the Department of Communications’ projections.