Internet testing provider Ookla has released its latest fixed broadband report that provides scores for connection speed and consistency for internet providers in Australia.
Of the six ISPs tested, Aussie Broadband was by far the winner in the report, coming in the top spot for both speed and consistency, with a ‘speed score’ of 88.33 and a ‘consistency score’ of 85.7 percent.
The speed score is calculated by Ookla with 90 percent attributed to download speed and 10 percent to upload. The consistency score is the percentage of data samples that meet “minimum thresholds for download and upload speeds”.
Coming in last place for speed was Telstra with a score of 49.0, and “Australia’s largest internet supplier” came in fourth out of six for consistency at 77 percent.
Last for consistency was iiNet at 74.5 percent, although it managed to come in third with a score of 58.20.
Second place in speed was Optus, with a score of 59.81 – 28.51 points below the first place and just under 11 points above last place.
Fourth and fifth place for speed were rounded out by TPG at 53.93 and Vodafone at 52.70.
Optus was third in consistency at 82.1 percent, with Vodafone in second at 83.2 percent and TPG fifth at 74.5 percent.
Aussie Broadband managing director Phil Britt told CRN attributed the top rating to a "focus on managing our network to avoid congestion."
"Quality networks are a passion of mine and providing enough bandwidth is part of our no bull approach to customer service. We ensure that there is enough capacity no matter what. During COVID, we pre-emptively upgrade our CVC (bandwidth) across the country when lockdowns occur."
He added that the company recently upgraded its CVC bot which "monitors all CVC nationally and balances capacity against usage on an ongoing basis."
He also conceded that Aussie Broadband does "attract a large portion of high speed customers who rely on us for a quality customer experience, and those high speed users are probably pulling that data up."
A spokesperson for TPG Telecom, the parent of TPG, Vodafone and iiNet said that the Ookla report was “simplistic”, adding that it offers a diversity of NBN plans at different speeds.
All of the ISPs in the report offer plans at various speeds.
“The best source of information for customers to assess how their NBN service should be performing is the typical evening speed for the NBN plan they have chosen, which is included on our websites. Apps such as Ookla’s are also helpful for customers to test actual speeds against their chosen speed plan,” the TPG spokesperson said.
An Optus spokesperson told CRN, "Optus relies on a range of speed measurements including the recent findings from the ACCC's Measuring Broadband Australia report as the industry go-to for accurate and independent information about broadband performance in Australia."
"We are focused on ensuring our customers have a fast, reliable internet service - which starts with providing customers with our high performing UltraWiFi modem with back up on the Optus 4G mobile network, ensuring they have access to a range of speed options and enough bandwidth so they get the most out of their service."
Responding to the report, a Telstra spokesperson issued the statement below:
"We are rated #1 for nbn average download speeds and Netflix streaming by the ACCC and we're committed to always delivering the best experience for our customers.
"Our advertised typical busy hour speeds for Superfast plans and Ultrafast are market leading and measured in accordance with the ACCC speed advertising guidelines.
"This report unfortunately compares internet apples with oranges as it doesn't take into account the mix of various NBN speed tiers or other fixed broadband technologies, like ADSL, so it is misleading.
"As Australia's largest NBN provider, we serve millions of customers offering a range of choice across the NBN speed tiers and, importantly, also serve many rural and regional communities where faster technologies aren't available. This skews our score versus smaller ISPs who serve mainly metro areas and promote higher NBN speed tiers."
Latency was also measured, though the difference was minimal across all ISPs.
Australia vs the world
In terms of global ranking for fixed broadband, Australia’s national median download speed of 82.73 Mbps saw it slip down four places to 58th out of the 181 countries rated.
On the more positive side, its 135.3 Mbps median download speed for mobile saw it fall only two places to 11th out of 138.
For comparison, our NZ neighbours across the Tasman came in 23rd for fixed at 170.51 Mbps, and 29th for mobile at 75.91 Mbps.
The country named first for fixed broadband speed was Monaco, a small but wealthy European nation with a population of around 40,000, with 261.82 Mbps. First for mobile was the United Arab Emirates at 238.06 Mbps.
Updated 5:15pm 19 October 2021: Added comments from Optus and Telstra.