We Need To Talk About Upload Speeds

Opinion: Australia is home to some incredible high-tech businesses, and Aussies can access some technologically amazing services -- take video on demand, for example -- with the quality of internet that we already have. Our download speeds, on the world stage, are okay. In the long and ongoing and convoluted and annoying argument about the National Broadband Network and about our country-wide internet, though, we're all getting caught up talking about downloads, and it's uploads that really matter.

Fibre optics image via Shutterstock

Australian Bureau of Statistics Internet Activity data released earlier this week shows that Australians are on the brink of downloading an entire exabyte of data -- one million terabytes -- every three months.

Over two million Australians have access to download speeds of over 24Mbps, and a further 6.25 million can access between 8 and 24Mbps. When you're streaming a YouTube video or Foxtel Play or getting hold of the latest episode of Game Of Thrones or a game off Steam, if you're one of these 9-odd million users you're doing alright. No huge complaints.

The Guardian's Datablog takes a closer look at upload speeds in light of the recent ABS data, and what it finds is wanting. According to Ookla NetIndex, Australia's download speeds are ahead of the world average, as in years past (although the gap is closing), but in every year since 2008 we have been trailing in upload speeds and falling increasingly behind. Where we once placed 48th in the world for uploads, we're now 100th.

Take an anecdotal example. I was 17 when YouTube launched in 2005, and we had ADSL installed at home around that time as well. Dodgy copper between the house and the street aside, I was pretty happy with the 6Mbps downloads, and the 812Kbps uploads. (Yep, I still remember that particular line sync speed from the configuration menu of my old Billion router.) It wasn't too bad for uploading the occasional quick 30-second video. It's now 2014, almost a decade later, and 100 hours of high-resolution video are uploaded to YouTube every minute around the world. At home, I'm now on ADSL2+ -- state of the art -- and I'm getting oh, 812Kbps uploads.

My phone can shoot more megabytes worth of video data in one second than it takes me to upload to YouTube in one minute. Shooting in 4K, and then uploading that? Forget about it. If I capture one 13-megapixel photo and want to share it with a friend over email, that's another entire minute of waiting. And the phone can capture 10 in the space of a second. This is all, to be honest, pretty silly.

My home connection's download speed has nearly doubled to a (massive!) 13Mbps in the last 10 years, but upload speeds remain glacially slow. For the life of me, I can't see any difference. On paper, compare the stats of ADSL1 and ADSL2+, and the upload speeds are identical. My entirely average Australian house in an entirely average Australia suburb has, when it comes to one crucial half of the internet equation, been standing still -- for more than a third of the time I have been alive.

To be honest, using the ADSL in my house isn't a feasible option for getting any kind of serious work done at Gizmodo. When you're uploading 20-odd relatively low resolution photos for a review, or a video to YouTube, or emailing any file attachment over a couple of megabytes, it's just not realistic to sit around and wait. In practical terms, it's much more sensible for me to hop onto a 3G or 4G hotspot, or tether my phone, and use that much, much faster connection when I need to.

It's pretty ridiculous that I can get superior speeds with a handheld battery-powered gadget connecting wirelessly to a tower an entire kilometre away than I can through the physical line running directly from the phone socket in the wall to a Telstra exchange down the road, isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love mobile data -- and I use plenty of it -- but what it does best is throw into sharp relief the fact that the wired parts of Australia's internet stretching into people's houses haven't exactly kept up with the times.

With the roll-out of the National Broadband Network continuing around the country, upload speeds will improve. That's a fact. The most basic and most garden variety fibre to the node service should reach minimum download speeds of 25Mbps and, more importantly, upload speeds of 5Mbps. But the disparity between those two speeds is, when you're talking about the internet, pretty massive.

Sure, fibre to the home can handle 100Mbps downloads and 40Mbps uploads, and sure, it's technologically superior. It would have been nice to see FTTH rolled out more widely around the country. Even fixed wireless is a big jump from the standards of ADSL we've been putting up with for years now. But, for the years to come, we need to transition to a way of thinking where upload speeds are equally as important as downloads, not one fifth or one tenth or one hundredth.

What we need is for the discussion, the debate we have about the future of Australia's internet, to take into account one key fact. Now, and increasingly more in the future, Australians are actually using their internet services for sharing video to YouTube and for emailing photos to friends and for running websites and for the thousands of other jobs that rely on and would benefit from solid, fast upload speeds. Download speeds aren't as important as they used to be. Focus on the other half.



    I started doing some streaming to Twitch and it just sucks for Aussies. I am on Telstra Cable and get an awesome 36Mbps down but only 1Mbps up. This means I can barley stream at 480p/30fps.

      Same for me. I just moved out and got Telstra Cable - 36Mbps down but only 1Mbps up.

      To add some more perspective, before that I was on ADSL1 with 3Mbps down and 0.7Mbps up.

      How can the down speed improve so much but the up speed stay so crappy? Even my 4G connection gets better up speed (1.56Mbps, woo!).

        It's very annoying, I can pay Telstra an extra $20 (on top of the $113 it already is) and I will get 100Mbps down and 2Mbps up.

        My phone just got 10Mbps down and 1.3Mbps up.

        Our upload speeds really need to be upped to at least 5Mbps, it's just useless at the moment.

          I'm on the same but with the speed boost I end up sitting on around 70-80Mbps but still the upload speeds max out at 2.4 - THATS it - thats all you can get from Telstra even up to 100Mbps down means only 2 up it doesnt make any sense - especially on cable rather than ADSL as well! That's just a cap they've come up with at some point

            same with optus, i get 100 down, i average 1 up.

              I get about 115-130 down 2-5 up on wifi, but I have to sit next to the router. Im on telstra bigpond ultimate

              what bundle do you have that gets you 100 down with optus, is it nbn or cable?

                it's some sort of 'speed pack' i called up complaining about drop outs and they ended up giving me the speed pack for free because i've been a customer for like a decade. think it's 20/mo extra normally.

                edit i'm on cable

                Last edited 01/02/15 6:07 pm

          Its a pitty that Telstra only give 100/2 and cant even fully offer that.
          I'm one of the lucky ones on iinet HFC (hybrid fiber coax) *same as Telstra's cable tech
          however my plan is 100/8 and i actually get 100/8. sometimes more!

          Its pretty sad that FTTN wont even compete with the cable that is rolled out in certain areas.
          Whats sadder is that uploads will always be slapped with shitty speed, as according to NBNs review we will be using the same/less internet in 10 years time not more....liars.

        cable is a fixed shared medium, so we get poor upload speeds because the speed is fixed. if you were to have higher upload then your download would be decreased but it cant be for just you, the protocol has to be altered for everyone down the chain until the network changes like at a junction box

          Interesting... Will this change under the MTM NBN that's going to reuse HFC? (I doubt it)

            No, cable is another crap medium like copper that should be replaced and would have under Labor. Thanks Libs!

              Cables not crap, 100/8 from iinet is pretty damn nice.
              FTTH would have been better but with docsis3 Cable can go to 1029/245.
              Sure uploads still hampered but considering its capeable of just as fast as FTTH in its current phases its not silly for NBN to use it. Especially if they upgrade the back end much like iinet have done for their network.

              Cable doesn't suck Telstra does

              Just for your reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS

                FTTH can go 1000/1000 with the right hardware. Likely multiples of that once you start using alternate light wave lengths.

              cable is awesome, if you are the only customer in your street with a plan hahha

        How can the down speed improve so much but the up speed stay so crappy?
        That's what the 'A' in ADSL is; telco's boost downstream at the expense of upstream and marketed that. Consumers kept using it, no demand for upstream bandwidth so they just kept boosting downstream. So, we end up with "superfast" Internet to download but uploading is dismal.

      The upload speed wont help too much with Twitch as its also the latency between you and the servers which is a major factor.

      If Twitch has a local server you would be able to do a lot more as well

        Yeah, true. The Server is in Singapore and I am getting 230ms ping. Still, I want to be able to Stream at 720p which will require more than 1Mbps up.

        Are you kidding? It's video streaming. It has more to do with upload bandwidth than ping. It doesn't matter if the data gets there in 1s or 10ms, it's the amount of data.

          Mr Zobel is on the money. Ping doesn't matter for live streaming (to the CDN), it doesn't matter if it takes 10ms or 250ms, it still gets there and is then processed and distributed to views.

          BTW, Hi Justin! ... still rockin at Node ?

      In exactly the same boat. Trying to stream to Twitch is essentially impossible due to the upload speed. I'm on ADSL2+ with about 12Mbps down and 0.8Mbps up. I can barely stream at 360p/25fps. I have to lower all the buffer settings to be able to achieve anything. It's barely watchable, extremely blurry and still drops frames.

      To make it worse, the suburb next to me already has full NBN coverage. The NBN map currently doesn't state when my suburb is even going into the production queue.

      You are really lucky.
      According to speedtest.net, my download speed is 6.81 Mbps and my upload speed is 0.31 Mbps (310 Kbps).
      Damn my crappy Telstra Internet

    Upload speeds in this country are more and more becoming an issue as well with companies opting to use Hosted services such as cloud desktop computing, virtual/cloud servers and hosted emails. The extra volume of information that needs to flow back and forth is getting huge. I have a number of clients who we have configured for hosted backup solutions using ShadowProtect IME and they've seen their data usage go from anywhere between 20gb to 80gb above their previous averages. Paying for bonded ADSL or fiber (which usually ends up being a bonded copper service over the last mile anyway) is ridiculous. a 2/2 bonded service w/ unlimited traffic from Amcom will cost you just over $200 a month, which is not too bad, a 4/4 will set you back $247 a month however if you want a fiber service running 4/4 you're looking at close to $700 a month. The former solutions are actually a good payoff for people who want upload speeds the same as their download speeds because ADSL is asynchronous, meaning that your download speed is affected by your upload speed and vice versa (if you're maxing out your download speed you kill your upload and vice versa).

    This is becoming a huge issue for businesses that rely heavily on transferring data from one place to another without wanting to pay for a courier every time with a portable hard drive. With more and more services coming online, doctors surgeries emailing patient records with massive x-ray attachments, drafting firms transferring CAD drawings etc it can take a bloody long time to upload data if you're not using a high capacity link. Tell you what though, if Amcom and Telstra keep charging what they are for their fiber services as the NBN becomes more and more readily available, they are going to price themselves out of the market.

    Last edited 10/10/14 5:26 pm

      I moved out workplace to an online backup solution, it took almost a year for everyone's data to be sent up.

      At home I backup all our computers to OneDrive, again, took a very long time to get everything up there.

        More often than not what we will do with a clients data is (and this is pretty much industry standard) create a seed of their backups to an external hard drive, take it to the datacenter (or wherever the offsite remote location is for backups) and load the backup set directly onto the backup storage area. Therefore the only backups that are required are the incremental/differentials from the site which are generally not very big overall by comparison. However consumer products like OneDrive etc as you mention, don't really give you this luxury, and really, would you actually trust these services with your data if you were to send them a drive with everything on it in the first place? I probably wouldn't!

      TPG have a fibre-based, unlimited 100Mbps full-duplex service for $800-1k/month.

      You won't actually get 100Mbps but we've seen up to half that (on a single transfer). Yes, we've seen it that high in both directions.

      The monthly cost depends mostly on whether your building/street is already on their service. It's more expensive than the services you describe but the bandwidth is significantly higher.

      Not an employee of TPG, just an employee of a (mostly happy) customer of theirs.

      Last edited 13/10/14 7:44 am

      Individuals (especially in bushfire and flood prone areas) need sensibly priced off site backup opportunities too. The hardware exists: filetransporter.com, but Australian upload speeds rule it out.

    You will never see a discussion on upload speeds by the current government in relation to the NBN as it is one of the (many) issues with their proposed mixed technology solution. With cloud storage becoming more prevalent, upload speed is critical to the many applications. I started backing up my critical personal data (family photos and videos) to a cloud provider and the initial upload of 300GB took over 2 months on cable.

      Upload = piracy in Hollywood's political party, I mean *cough* Liberal.

    Hasn't America got upload speeds the same as their download speeds ?

      Not symmetrical but still far better than us. They do have Google Fiber which is 1gbps symmetrical in some select cities. This is the ultimate in Internet and should be everywhere.

    For all the bad things I can say about being with Vodafone, my upload speeds are not one.
    I get between 40%-110% same as download. Rarely get below 1.5 Mbps, averaging 3-4Mbps with 3-9Mbps upload. My adsl lucky to get 2Mbps, have had 2 down and 6 upload.

      When I was on Vodafone I managed 110mpbs down and around 70mbps up, craps on my 6/1 ADSL.

      How do you purchase vodafone broadband or check if you are available to it?

    I do alpha and beta testing for a major electronics company and I am given new 'cloud' toys to test regularly. Trying to test the upload/streaming capabilities of these products is woeful on my ADSL2+ connection.

    Asymmetrical connections are frustrating... why can't we just have symmetrical connections and... not get charged for uploads too, as we all know that's coming just to kick us in the pants.

    Keep dreaming. Good upload speeds are never coming.

      You really have NO idea what you're talking about.

        Do you live in Australia? Most of us will be lucky to get good download speeds anytime soon now its a political football, and the government in power is putting in the shitty solution with worse upload speeds.

    Is 0.21mbps a good upload speed coughOPTUScough?

      Sure it's mbps? I got 1.44 Mbps, with optus too, pretty horrible sometimes though

    Our download speeds, on the world stage, are okay.

    Is that supposed to be some kind of bad joke?...

    Over two million Australians have access to download speeds of over 24Mbps, and a further 6.25 million can access between 8 and 24Mbps.

    ok great so we have around 8.25 million that have access to at least adsl1... that only leaves 12 million that aren't examined here...

    With the roll-out of the National Broadband Network continuing around the country, upload speeds will improve. That’s a fact. The most basic and most garden variety fibre to the node service should reach minimum download speeds of 25Mbps and, more importantly, upload speeds of 5Mbps. But the disparity between those two speeds is, when you’re talking about the internet, pretty massive.

    First: 5Mbps is around 625Kb/s ... unless my math is wrong... this is not an upgrade...

    Second: Erm yeah i wonder if we'll get minimum 25Mbps down...

    Sure, fibre to the home can handle 100Mbps downloads and 40Mbps uploads, and sure, it’s technologically superior. It would have been nice to see FTTH rolled out more widely around the country.

    You're missing the point, it's not just about down and up speeds, these are serendipitous to the RELIABILITY of the connections i would be fine with 25/5 IF the connection is guaranteed to be at peak performance rain, hail or shine. I remember reports of stores in Wollongong not being able to take credit cards because massive flooding of an exchange caused network issues that prevented use of the card readers.

    True GPON would have been switched to Active fibre signals when reaching the backhaul, therefore the flooding would've caused damage either way, the difference is rather then having to perform mainenance on the cables themselves they wouldve just switched out the FSAM re-cleaved the fibre, plugged it all in and been up and running in a matter of hours, instead it took days.

    Even fixed wireless is a big jump from the standards of ADSL we’ve been putting up with for years now.

    No... just no... -_- fixed wireless can NOT provide for the vast majority of consumers unless you've found a way to surpass the laws of physics (the shannon limit / contention)? In which case if you have i strongly suggest you patent the idea and sell it to the highest bidder.

    for the thousands of other jobs that rely on and would benefit from solid, fast upload speeds.

    Something using FTTN or HFC will not provide...

    Last edited 11/10/14 4:12 am

      Some of your statements here are not entirely accurate. Don't have time to go into details.

      About your maths:
      5Mbps (megabits per second) is 5000Kbps (kilobits per second). In byte terms, 5Mbps is 625MBps (megaBytes per second) not 625Kb/s. Kbps and Kb/s is the same thing.

        You sure it's my maths that's lacking?

        1 byte = 8 bits
        therefore in order to convert bits (speed) to bytes (capacity) you divide by 8 hence
        5 / 8 = 0.625mb/s

        In byte terms, 5Mbps is 625MBps (megaBytes per second) not 625Kb/s.

        Bits are a smaller unit of measure then bytes... so how can 5 Megabits contain 625 Megabytes?

        (multiply by 8 to go from bytes to bits)
        625 Megabytes = 5000 Megabits

        P.S. I sincerely hope you're not working in any kind of sales or network administration field.

    Your ADSL2+ gets 13Mbps download? AND 812kbps upload? I'm jealous.

    My home connection, in a normal, non rural suburb, nets me about 2.5Mbps download, and about 300kbps upload, on average

      So am I. As long as it isn't raining or that the link has lost sync and needs about half a day to reset!

      Don't worry, it took a fair bit of time and effort to get the copper in my house (originally built in the '20s) and between the house and the street right.

        Yeah, our house was built in the early 90s, and has the whole copper line from street to house changed four times. The problem is our exchange is in the next suburb over, close to seven Kms away. We're basically as far from the exchange as possible without going on to the NEXT one.

    I think it's pretty obtuse to suggest that the majority of Australians would rate upload and download speeds equally. I use Telstra cable at 100Mbps, and an upload speed of 2Mbps is totally fine. The majority of people are not content creators; they are content consumers. It's unfortunate, but the market isn't prepared to pay en-masse for increased investment in upstream capacity.

      That should read, the government is not willing to pay less in the longterm to increase speed and reliability.
      You may have acceptable speed, most wont get that speed.

      Keep telling yourself that most people aren't content creators. Most people are content creators, they take photos to share, they create presentations and documents, all of which is increasingly being done in the cloud (iCloud/OneDrive) or with a cloud backup solution. They send each other home videos, kids sports carnivals, wedding etc... People video chat with friends and family. Lots of families now e-mail photos to the grandparents, 10 years ago no-one would have thought grandparents would ever be that tech-savvy. People are increasingly working from home which requires good upload speed to save files to network drives.

      What I think you mean is that most people aren't mass content distributors. But there isn't much of a difference in requirements for upload speed between the two.

      People may not know what upload speed is, or that it is different to download speed, or how to identify what their plans upload speed even is. But they sure do complain about how slow it is to send files and photos.

      Just as disk usage expands to fill the space available, bandwidth usage increases to use the bandwidth available.

      You don't start using a tool until you have the tool available. People are not content creators in part because the limitations imposed on their options by their upload speeds stop them from sending anything out.

      When my parents had dialup, their only internet usage was occasional email from my mother. These days, they have uncapped ADSL and my father and nephew spend their waking hours watching YouTube, and Mum sends us all collections of high-resolution photos.

      The company I work for discussed offsite backup repeatedly over the years but when we ran the numbers our upload speed made the possibility laughable. After a large bandwidth upgrade we're now doing backups of key data to the cloud and keeping clones of certain critical services on Azure and Amazon EC2.

      The problem isn't that the market is unprepared to pay, as the difference in pricing (for a mass rollout) isn't all that high. The problem is that the people building the infrastructure don't want to have to build infrastructure (and pay for bandwidth) for both directions, because many ISPs don't bill for upload traffic so it has no margin for them.

      People should still have the option to access it. Especially businesses.

        Why not everyone? Their data is just as precious www.filetransporter.com

      Yeah this is an incorrect statement and you are now the exception to the rule and becoming more so.
      As online storage becomes cheaper and more people become content creators (GoPro's etc.) this will just become even more important.

    We're paying $43 billion for 5Mbps upload? Seriously? This is not value for money, people!

    Apart from not being able to upload videos or photos quickly ( It took me 1 hour to back my small amount of photos to the cloud)

    I am currently working away from home for Mars Petfood and having to send my backups and files back to my office is painfully slow ! It takes me the last 30-40 minutes of my day to get my backups onto my server so I can go home.
    It's ridiculous that every other country can advance and use cloud services reliably but we are stuck in the dark age and can use our phones internet connection to upload faster than a wired gigabit ethernet connection !

    The problem isn't upload speeds, it's that people are morons. Just because you can shoot 4k video and 13Mp photos doesn't make them the ideal size for sharing. Peter Jackson shot the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 4k so that his miracle workers would have plenty of resolution to play with in post-production. The films that blew us all away on 200 foot cinema screens were only 2k. Even the advertising you see at the cinema, which generally looks perfectly fine on even the biggest screens, is often only 1024x576, although most of it is HD these days (1920x1080).

    When it's presented in 3D, you can halve the horizontal pixels count because they print it using side-by-side, so you have two separate images in every 2k frame that the digital projector then duplexes so your glasses show you a 1024 pixel wide 3D image. The real clincher here is that I have never once read any review that mentioned the considerably lower quality of a 3D movie - literally half the resolution of a normal film, which tells you that even 2k is overkill.

    For YouTube, I wouldn't bother with anything greater than 1k - 1024x576. If I was uploading photos to share, 800x600 would do perfectly well, although I'd probably keep it to 640x480 for myself. Stop filling the internet with ridiculously over-ressed rubbish and the whole world will be better off.

      Not everyone wants 480p videos of their life events champion, e.g. kids birthday parties or weddings or whatever. Stick to your 14" CRT screen, let the rest of us demand better infrastructure/services for what we're paying/getting ripped off for.

    I'm in regional Victoria and have blazingly fast 8Mbit down... which is fine for most things honestly. I regularly ping around 20-30ms to game servers. The upload. Jeebus. The upload speed of 384 Kbs kills me. So much. So hard. Please don't complain about only getting 1 or 2 Mbit ups, or not quite topping out your 100/40 plans. Sigh. I'll press submit, then go make a cuppa while I wait.

    I am on optus cable. no complaints about d/l speeds, 90mb/s peak speeds are more than enough; but my uploads always suffer; getting a max of 1.5mb/s (on a good day). Makes it very hard sometimes to work as a freelance designer/photographer; exp. when I face international competition from many lesser developed countries where they can work for less & also already have access to affordable fibre solutions.

    Failure to act on this is affecting us now & will exponentially grow as politicians sit on their hands & do nothing.

    Here's an idea.

    How about now, in 2014 we pass a law where it's a mandatory requirement for a new build property/unit in the urban areas of the country to have cables installed to be able to even receive landline internet and not have to rely on a mobile broadband dongle.

    We moved into a unit last year where 40 new units were built. Internet cables through the street up to where the new builds started. After that nothing was installed, only phone cables.

    In Brisbane.. in 2013... what the actual f**k? If it was out bush then you could understand it.

    We moved out since, as we were told the internet cables were installed when in actual fact there was nothing there. Surely this needs to be sorted out before anything else?

      Err, "Internet cables" are Phone lines unless the estate had fibre or HFC...

    20mbps for upload on fibre? That's PATHETIC! In NZ we are able to get 100mbps down and 50mbps up with fibre! We can even get VDSL here (which I am currently on with 17mbps down and 5mbps up). Do you guys get VDSL in Australia? I also have lots of aussie friends that just have consistently terrible internet! Upload is a must for stability in general. If one person in the house is just uploading a few photos, then it slows down the download speed for the whole house!

      "Do you guys get VDSL in Australia?"

      Parts of Canberra by a company called TransACT. That's all.

    ADSL2+ is hardly "state of the art". Of you want better internet, move to somewhere you can get it.

    Cable has between delivering over 100mbit down and 2mbit up for YEARS. And while 2mbit is hardly going to set the world on fire, it's at least twice that of crappy DSL.

      Yes but you have to bend over for telstra or optus to insert the cable.

    I travel a fair bit and you meet and travel with people all over the world. They just drop box pictures of me, drop box gigabytes of pictures for everyone they travelled with. They never understand when I say, 'in Australia I can't do that, uploads are too slow. I can just put a small selection, or else it'll take weeks/months.'

    I'd also say, I have a lot of pictures and I worry about them lasting. I would love an online cloud back up. However, how could I ever upload that much data?

    Good upload speed is possible in Australia if you can get WDSL, my current speed with nuskope is 20+ Mbps in an area that has neither the NBN or cable. Unfortunately currently only available is SA though.


      Here is my download / upload speed in Brusbane Buzzy to compair

      Sorry previous post didn't work.
      To compare with Buzzy, here are my speeds in Brisbane.

        Thats nice! Cable/NBN or 4G? I am happy with the speeds I am getting at $80 for 250gb down and 250gb up per month. Way better than the 4mbps/0.8mbps I was getting on adsl.

        I would love 100mbps though, sucky thing is we were meant to have the FTTP NBN here in November last year and the vans were just starting to come down the street getting ready to lay the fibre and just disappeared after the changes, now we are not even on the rollout map, not that I want the crappy FTTN fibre anyway.

    Remind me: Why is the government not rolling out a full FTTP network that would cause us to surge well above the average global upload speed?

      Because they dont want to spend an extra $10 billion on it -_-

        Because Telstra+friends doesn't want to give you a choice and make itself redundant.

    Am I the only one with 100mbps with 2mbps up on Optus Coax Cable?

    You talk about 30 something mbps and call it massive? I'd neck myself on 36mbps theoretical. (which in reality is about really 20mbps)

    I just upgraded to fibre here in NZ. I get 30Mpbs downstream and 8.5Mpbs upstream. Not bad, although because it's an unlimited package I noticed that it gets throttled back to 18Mpbs sometimes during peak.

      Often on this sort of package the problem isn't that you're actively throttled, but that the ISP hasn't bought enough download bandwidth themselves to service everybody without contention.

      eg. if they have 1Gbps of bandwidth but have 1000 customers each with 30Mbps, pulling data at 100% bandwidth 5% of the time, the demand is for 30x5%x1000 = 1500Mbps. They don't have enough demand to meet that, so the TCP/IP flow controls throttle that back to 20Mbps.

      This is the business model underlying most ISPs. The amount of bandwidth they have to service their customer base, compared to the size of that customer base, determines how much bandwidth each customer gets.

      This explains why an ISP which expands rapidly will have horrible service for a while, while they ramp up their own up/downlinks.

      It also explains why iiNet & Internode are not as good as they once were - they expanded drastically, but as far as I can tell didn't grown their external links an quickly as internal demand. As a result of which I'm now lucky to get SD streaming speeds from Crunchyroll where once I could stream in HD.

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