Report: Most Australians Have Crappy Internet Speeds

While the rest of the world surges by with internet speeds that boggle the mind, Aussies sit on the bottom of the world jealously watching on with download speeds often below 24Mbps, according to a study out of the Government.

The survey, commissioned by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, found unsurprisingly that most Australians still have paltry internet download speeds when compared to the rest of the world.

7.1 million Australians are getting less than 24Mbps from the copper network, while 3.7 million others are located in areas where estimated peak speeds are less than 9Mbps. 920,000 customers have less than 4.8Mbps available.

While slow internet sucks, no internet is worse. The survey found that there are still 700,000 premises around the nation that are unable to get any broadband at all. These are the areas that will likely be prioritised from Turnbull's new multi-technology model (MTM) deployment, which includes fibre-to-the-node, HFC, satellite and high-speed wireless networks.

It isn't all bad news, however: a surprising 3.1 million Aussies have access to a high-speed broadband connection (over either fibre-to-the-node, hybrid fibre coaxial netoworks and fixed wireless networks). According to the survey, these folks achieve download speeds of between 25Mbps and 110Mbps. Good for them.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised a report into the speed of Australian broadband prior to his taking office, and has worked with NBN Co to compile the results. The Government and the NBN Co will use the data to prioritise National Broadband Network roll-out areas over the next few years.

The report was released in summary onto Malcolm Turnbull's website. The rest of the report, according to the SMH will be released soon, containing localised data.

Should the new question Aussie geeks ask each other be 'how slow is your internet?' rather than 'how fast?'. [Malcolm Turnbull via SMH]



    Indeed. I'm one of the 920,000 who sync up at under 4.8Mbps. I'm also in one of the areas that was slated to get the NBN but then got pulled from the map. Sucks to be me I guess.

      This is me i get 3mb and half off my town is completed and the other side, literally an entire half of the town is obliterated from the map and wont be getting fuck all for years.

        Me too, I actually started up my business as the NBN was being rolled out to our street. Days after the election they packed up and went home, leaving me with 2.8Mbit on good days... and a non-viable business now.

          if your business could be viable you could move and start it elsewhere?

          You can buy a service that will get you similar/same/better speeds, it will just cost you. If your business can't afford that, then your might want to reconsider how viable your business really is, as that extra cost should be easily affordable for a decent business.

        i get 1.4mbps lol get on my level

          I have a staggeringly low average speed of 300 kbps. Yes, that's a k.

      I also get below that mark, on wireless, but truly wonder if I would have been pigeonholed into the 9Mbps band just because it is 'possible' for me.

      The 3.1M estimate for people over 25Mbps is a load of BS... There is no way that the majority of that figure is actually made up on current HFC users who many of very rarely see better than ADSL speeds. This is yet again another piece of 'evidence' being used to make people look more optimistically about Malcolms new scenario.

        I quite frequently saturate my 100mbit Telstra HFC connection. When I was on Optus however once peak hour hit you were lucky to get ADSL speeds.

          I myself am looking for a provider who will not fail me. Would anyone tell me where i can find a decent provider?

            Nowhere in Australia.

        You get a higher upload speed than me and I live in the city :/. I only get 0.88 but my download is like 5-8mb/s and ping is avg. 30ms

      According to data from
      Australia is 98th (2.61 Mbps) in upload speed tests for all nations (and territories)
      Just behind Zambia India & Turkey but just ahead of Seychelles, Saudi Arabia and Angola.
      Download speed tests has Australia at 49th (14.47 Mbps) just behind UAE, Chile and Georgia
      and just ahead of Slovenia, Mongolia and Kazakstan.

    I live a few km's from the city in Sydney, and every single bloody day I sit down to stream overseas sports via my paid subscription and every single bloody day I'm reduced to watching some hopeless low definition rubbish. My subscription requires a 3Mbps connection to stream at its best quality however most of the time my connection is running at about 1.5Mbps...if I'm lucky. Lucky country my arse.

      I used to get about 14 megabits 3 years ago, now I'm down to 2 due to a massive overcrowding of my local exchange. I was past the time I was supposed to reeive NBN, but due to the contract not getting signed before the change of government, I will now have to wait extensively till my area is deemed as requiring an upgrade. Sigh.

      EDIT: Ah crud, hit the wrong person to respond to, it was meant for bindibadgi. -___-

      Last edited 06/01/14 11:47 am

    Yup, under the 4.8Mbps mark myself, which is just wonderful for all those steam games I own and but have to download overnight. Or even better, for all the live streaming I try to do, which renders any 3D game looking like absolute crap to the viewer, leaving me with 2D games only for now :)

    If I buy a game for a friend in America, and myself, and we both start downloading, my friend might be done in 20 minutes, where as I can take around an hour or more.

    Let's not forget that things are moving towards a digital existence, like console gaming was looking , and hey, downloading a 37gb + updates, that's nothing.. probably just 3-4 days of non-stop downloading!

    Now, don't get me wrong, when I was younger, I started up on dial-up, then moved up to a slow adsl connection when it became available, and my god... it was incredily faster! Then moved to the best adsl speeds my isp at the time offered, which, brilliantly, are the highest speeds I can also achieve on adsl2+ from anyone.

    Yay for living 4.6km away from the exchange.

    I hope they let us pay for a highly subsidised fttp...I would love being able to stream properly, so much.

      I feel for you mate, I hope we can get those dreamy Internet speeds, so we can at least be competitive when it comes to streaming or even online gaming where oceanic servers are unable.. Am lucky enough to pull 37mbs down as they just connected cable in the area.. Trust me, the wait will be all worth it!! GL

    I'm one of the 3.1 million who have 100 mbps Optus Cable and can say I download at 10-12 mb/s from Steam which is the biggest benefit, since I can download any game within 20-30 minutes and get on gaming.

    That's about it, there's an unlimited plan but I don't see the reason to switch since I don't download that much.

      But links to the US on Optus Cable are really patchy. Streaming video from the US gets really slow on Optus Cable during peak times here.

        Used to happen in my area or everyone connected to Riverwood until they expanded 4 to 8 channels and made upgrades.

        So now it's pretty good, there's upcoming upgrades to a few locations which were reported on their community forums.

    Hey Turnbull...! Get the bloody NBN furnished and do it properly, you idiot..!

    Well I have 100Mbps Cable at home with 5GHz wi-fi connecting at around 400Mbps, and at my office down the road I have ADSL 1+ which syncs at 3.8Mbps over 10/100 LAN.

    The only time I notice a difference between them is when streaming or downloading several HD Movies at the same time, the 100Mbps internet can pull down HD Apple movies at 17MB/s, around 5GB in 17mins, I wouldn't even try on the ADSL, but it will handle SD no problem with surround sound.

    So unless you are in to watching movies, copious amounts for bandwidth do nothing to improve the web experience, most web page servers wouldn't even dish out 1Mbps anyway and popular sites can clog up with congestion rendering your mega bandwidth mostly idle.

      Yeah - because that is the only driving factor, now and for the next fifty years for the internet...streaming movies. Everything else is just web page retrievals from congested international servers. Glad we got that sorted symo. Thanks ever so much for your technical prowess.

      So unless you are in to watching movies, copious amounts for bandwidth do nothing to improve the web experience, most web page servers wouldn't even dish out 1Mbps anyway and popular sites can clog up with congestion rendering your mega bandwidth mostly idle.

      Based on your experience. When I web browse I only have a modest amount of 4-8 tabs open, though I am normally downloading a movie or tv show to watch. Keep in mind that I am 1 person in a house of 4 adult so they're doing much the same thing. You must be crazy to try an rationalise slow internet speeds when you have faster more stable internet.

      So lets split it(rough math) rounding up from 4Mbps / 8 = 500kbps / 4 = 125kbps. That is ridiculous.

      I can't tell if your being serious or not...? Hoping, NOT....

      100Mbps translates to a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 12.5 megabytes/second; actually slightly less than that due to protocol overheads. 17MB/sec is probably a burst rate (possibly due to packet caching when the wifi is tied up) or your speed cap may not actually be 100Mbps. (Or you may be transferring uncompressed traffic.)

      However, you've missed a couple of points.

      (1) Some of us do, in fact, watch movies, quite legally, on the Internet. I'm not usually fussy about being limited to SD, but it's really annoying that if something else draws on that bandwidth pool then the movie stutters to a stop.
      (2) The lephant in the room is uplink bandwidth, which almost nobody talks about but which is becoming increasingly important. Typically cable caps uploads at 1Mb/sec or thereabouts. This places severe limits on use of cloud services and video chat.

      One thing you've mentioned which is very true is that frequently speed issues are server-side. You can't download at 100Mbps when the server is sharing 1Gb over several hundred users.


      The real benefit of the NBN isn't just speeding up the web browsing speed, its to increase capability and reliability of other more bandwidth intensive functions as well as future proof our needs.

      While a 3mbps connection may be fine now with a few restrictions, in 10 years time it may be like what dial up is today.

      This is the really silly thing and the LNP are taking advantage of it, people don't think they need more (or don't even know it) because things are fine for now. Its like building a highway for today's needs, by the time its finished it may already need to be upgraded to meet demand.

        You wrong there mate assuming the highway theory. Its been proven numerous times - in Sydney at least - that today engeneers our just political puppets, and todays politician are just...."input your choice of word here"... they built the M5 motorway, just to find out 2 years later what every avarege Jo and Jane was telling them.....WIIIDDDEEER!!. Same on M4 and M7. And im sure plenty of examples elswhere as well.
        When people realise how to hold the decission makers accountable for they actions, we will then and only then start to have enough money left in the national piggybank to better our everyday life at the rate it should be.

      In my business we have to *upload* masses of content, try uploading a few terrabytes over your ADSL link and tell me it is doable.

    Well I'm already on the NBN according to Turnbull - cable internet. The beauty of my NBN is the more people they put on it the slower it gets - how's that for future proof!

    I'm lucky to sync at 2.4 Mbps most days and the NBN rollout in my area was halted when the Coalition took office. No word on when, or if, we'll be seeing it recommence but since I'm in a stalwart labor seat I probably shouldn't hold my breath.

    In other shocking news, the government reports that water is wet!

    20mins from the Melbourne CBD, and I connect at 2Mbps... my parents that live an hour north of the CBD get MUCH faster speeds than I do, so frustrating.

    When I first moved in to my current house we were getting around 6mbps, and it is currently around 2mbps.

    I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard "Michael, are you watching a video?" from my partner after she lags out of Xbox Live.

      I get "Are you browsing Tumblr" when the wife is playing an MMO.

    My internet speed seems to be getting slower, when i first signed up to ADSL2+ i was getting about 12Mbps download now its nearly half at about 6Mbps and i am lucky to get 700kbps upload.

    So let's see.. Coalition Government releases a report saying that most of Australia's internet is woefully behind the times. Government also decides that tearing down Labor's FTTH NBN is a prudent choice and that building an (already) out-dated mis-match of unreliable technologies and existing infrastructure is the best way to fix said shotty internet....


      Well said stendec. Turnbull is a hypocrite who has no idea what he's talking about. Labor messed up a lot, but the Libs really have no clue about NBN and the Internet.

    So after everything, it's going to cost what Labor was costing, except with a shittier network?

    Good job.

      While I'm no fan of the incumbents, I feel that - to be fair, your comment should probably say: "So after everything, it's going to cost what Labor lied about what it would cost, except with a shittier network?"

      The report on the NBN stated pretty clearly that the Labor project was never going to make that budget or be completed in anything close to a reasonable time-frame.

      By all means lay on these luddites in charge of technology, but pick your battles.

        Fair enough. I'm still pissed I won't get NBN is all.

        I remember (or at least I think I remember) reading that under the Libs, we'd have the option to pay to have NBN installed at our premises individually for like $3-5K..

        Did I imagine that?

          No idea, though it sounds like the rumours wafting around. I've pretty much written the whole thing off for the foreseeable future. I rent, and there's no way in HELL the property owners are going to invest in that. So, shitty speeds are here to stay.

          (Edit: I won't be surprised if that's the case for the majority of tenants, nationwide.)

          Last edited 06/01/14 4:13 pm

        One of the problems with Labours costing was it was based on a city installation first so that more people could get it quicker.

        Higher subscription rate means more productive rollouts. But because of the independents they started by putting it in small communities with low uptake numbers. Let's just be clear here, who is more likely to jump on faster internet, nerds living in major cities (like me) or Farmers in the bush?

        Is it just me or would affluent suburbs in major cities be the best place to start the rollout as they'd be the most likely to get faster internet because all it takes is one em to say "Oh still on the old ADSL network? No wonder that page took 2 seconds to load."

    I live about an hour out of Melbourne and my line speed on a good day is 4Mbps.
    With 4 people using this at the same time it's unusable.

    I am in the group of 4.8mb or under. ( I sync between 2.2 and 3.5 on a good day) and I am not even on the map for any plans.

    TBH, with how messed up the rollout has been, even if I COULD get it I will still not for the time being. I work in Telco myself and I see how bad the appointments/issues/contractor stuff ups/ISP stuff ups are. There are many.

    The whole thing is a mess.

    Granted, I am sure there are some good stories about it out there, but there negative is far far more vast.

    Before I moved from Houston, Texas, USA I was subscribed to AT&T's DSL service. The highest speed offered where I was living was 3 Mbps, and this is what I was paying for. I never saw a speed greater than 2.2 Mbps and often it would drop below 2. Now I live in Perth WA, subscribe to 6 Mbps (ADSL, the highest speed offered in my area) and each time I run a speed test it always performs right at 6 or a bit above.

    Living in a semi-regional location I'm getting 1.2Mbps at the very most, on a good day. 1.3km from the exchange and serving a family of 5 with 3 kids on holiday gaming and watching youtube etc.
    Someone just hurry up and get us ANY kind of reasonable speed PLEASE!

    So i guess Im slumping it in Western Sydney with a speed of 4.1Mbps....

    I wonder where theyre geting these stats from.

    Embarrassing score on the international stakes, and not doing anything about it. Go Oz!

    (Edit: Sub-heading: "Australian voters put luddites in charge of technology - surprised when it turns to shit.")

    Last edited 06/01/14 12:53 pm

      The sucky thing about voting is... it may be called voting.. but really you're not voting at all... you almost get what you get given... do you really have a say who gets in? or is it more the luck of the draw who you get because no one else can actually stand up and vote because to two big parties have all the coins in the real battle.

        Even worse: Let's just say - hypothetically - that an honest man or woman got elected as a representative of their electorate. And let's propose that they ran on a platform of personal beliefs instead of market-researched popular tickets, and that the majority of people voted for that person because of their beliefs, and that their beliefs include attaining benefits for their electorate. (As politicians so often love to claim is their motivation.)

        How are they actually going to fucking achieve anything? They say, "I want X to happen for my electorate," and if not everyone agrees, then they're shit out of luck. UNLESS... unless they agree to back someone else's proposal, to benefit their electorate. Quid pro quo. But what if what that person wants doesn't completely gel with our honest man or woman's motivations? Then I guess their electorate gets squat? Or do they then have to compromise and weigh up whether it's a net win or loss, based on the lesser evil and the greater good?

        And so politics goes... Yes. It's a sham. And the truth of that would BREAK an honest, decent man or woman, which is why there aren't any in politics.

          The world is in such a shambles and its a shame there's no real way of fixing it because of the corrupt species that we've become.

    While I agree that it is probable that "most Australians have crappy internet speeds", the data is extremely optimistic. A sample of areas that are supplied ADSL, VDSL, Cable of Fibre is "interpreted" to have performance characterisations that are not typical of international performance.
    TrueNet measure performance in NZ and have published a comparison of performance by testing probe in February last year here:
    The Dept of Communications report shows an unbelievable 42% of premises in Figure 2 as having better than 18mbps (I presume they mean 18Mbps?) for the "Median modelled xDSL peak download speed" - this measure is never explained. The New Zealand experience, where FTTN already extends to 50% of the population has considerably less than 42% above 18Mb/s, more like 12%!

    When I moved to my house about a year ago I got adsl sync at about 4mbps. My area was opted for 3 yrs of NBN by the ALP but cancelled due to the Coalition taking the government. Few months ago the quality of the line degrading rapidly and it came down to 1mbps and now only sync at about 300-600kbps with intermittent disconnection. Forget about streaming video I can't even check my email.

    I work in IT and often had to work afterhours to perform application maintenance when everybody has gone home. My company given me the option to log in remotely to this task from home. However it is impossible to do that with that ridiculously slow connection speed. Often I had to stay back and perform these maintenance on-site. That is a real pain considering the it finishes right about midnight and my home is 40km from the CBD, also concern with the safety of travelling late at night.

    Thanks a lot Mr. Turnbull and Abbott. If I have a descent internet connection I could have spent the time with my family as I got 2 and 5 yrs old kids. I am sure there are a lot of people need to work from home due to their circumstances.

    Live in Darwin, can't even stream off youtube at 1080p without buffering every 5 seconds, and cant play a video above 240kbps and expect to have enough bandwith to play a game at the same time... I'm 5 minutes distance from the biggest exchange in the city.

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