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Broadband download speeds improve but upload speeds remain stable: ACCC

Australians who get their broadband via fixed NBN connections experienced slightly faster download speeds in May 2022 than in February 2022, according to the ACCC’s latest quarterly Measuring Broadband Australia report.

Fixed line connections are those that have a physical line going to the property, such as fiber to the premises or fiber to the node.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s report shows that in May 2022, the average download speed of retail service providers was 99.3% of the plan speed during all hours (compared to 97. 9% in February) and 97.6% of the speed of the plan during peak hours from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (compared to 96.5% in February).

The ACCC also reports that retailers’ average download speed performance on NBN fixed connections in May 2022 was 85.6% of plan speeds during all hours, compared to 84.7% of plan speeds in February 2022. .



“Download speeds have improved for many consumers over the past two years because NBN Co overprovisions the download component of some plans,” said ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey.

“Download speeds are more noticeably lower than the maximum plan speeds because NBN Co does not over-provision the download link.”

The ACCC believes that NBN Co’s implementation of over-provisioning of the download component would be an effective way to increase download speeds.

“Download speeds are important for consumers who work or study from home, or who use cloud applications such as photo storage,” Brakey said.

The ACCC report shows that there has been no significant improvement in download speed performance since the start of 2020, and also shows that download speeds have dropped by almost three percentage points during the busiest hours of the day compared to the all-hour average – reflecting retailers rationing the network capacity they acquire during these times of high demand, resulting in slower speeds.

The ACCC says that in addition to monitoring the performance of NBN plans, the MBA program also measures Uniti Group’s superfast networks that operate through Opticomm and LBNCo.

In May, average download speeds on fiber connections to Uniti premises were 99% of plan speed during busy evening hours. By comparison, fiber optic connections to the NBN premises continued to experience average download speeds of just over 102.8% of plan speed during peak hours.

“NBN’s fibre-to-the-premises services have slightly better download and upload performance than Uniti’s fibre-to-the-premises services. But when you compare Uniti’s fiber to the premises services with all of NBN’s landline services, Uniti performs slightly better,” Brakey said.

“All Uniti fixed line services are fiber to the premises, while NBN fixed line also includes fiber to the node, fiber to the building, fiber to the curb and hybrid coaxial fiber .”

The ACCC reports that fixed wireless broadband performance has improved: “NBN’s fixed wireless services also improved in May 2022, delivering 77.6% of plan speed during peak hours, compared to 74.7% in Feb All-hour performance was at an all-time high of 101.5% plan speed, up from 92% in Feb. This was driven by a large performance improvement in NBN Fixed services WirelessPlus.

On NBN ‘Ultrafast’ packages, the ACCC report shows a slight drop in the performance of very high-speed NBN services (so-called NBN ‘Ultrafast’) in May 2022.

“Consumers on Ultrafast plans received average download speeds between 820 Mbps during the day and 659 Mbps during evening peak hours, compared to 823 Mbps and 694 Mbps in February,” the ACCC notes, adding that “ Ultrafast home plans are where the wholesale product sold by NBN Co to retailers has a download speed range of 500 to 990 Mbps.

Noting that underperforming services have declined slightly, the ACCC reports that the proportion of underperforming services in the ACCC’s NBN landline sample fell from 7.1% in February 2022 to 6% in May. 2022.

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