The frustration of on again, off again broadband internet service has been reported by many Australians.
But choosing a service is problematic because broadband performance has proved to be hard to measure and to compare between internet providers.
The consumer watchdog, the ACCC, has been investigating the issue and has just completed a pilot program to work out if broadband can be effectively monitored.
The aim is to improve transparency of information and encourage performance-based competition for broadband services.
The pilot tested 90 Melbourne-based home fixed-line broadband connections on various technologies over three months, focussing on the technical and practical elements of introducing a monitoring and reporting program.
The metrics selected for testing included download/upload speeds, web browsing time, latency, packet loss, video streaming, jitter and DNS resolution.
The ACCC says the probe-based, hardware testing worked well.
Broadband monitoring programs have been established in the UK (2008), US (2010), New Zealand (2010) and Singapore (2011)
The ACCC says any decision on broadband monitoring in Australia would involve further stakeholder consultation.
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