The ACCC Is Keeping An Eye On Your Crappy ISP

Have you ever had to rely on hearsay and obscure internet forums when deciding what ISP is going to offer the best quality service? Australia's biggest companies currently sell their plans competitively based on price, but until now there has been no way to measure the comparative quality each company can offer. Network cable picture by Shutterstock

The ACCC recently trialled a 'performance monitoring and reporting program,' collecting data over a three month period from the broadband connections of 90 Melbourne homes. The pilot program involved testing for multiple factors of connection quality, including download/upload speeds, web browsing time, latency, packet loss and the ever important video streaming quality. With the (frustratingly slow) NBN rollout happening across Australia, the system could also serve to determine whether potential connection issues were the fault of your service provider or a problem with the network itself. If it ever gets here.

Since the end of the pilot, the ACCC have yet to determine if a large scale rollout of such a system will be implemented. If they do go ahead with it — following the example of similar programs which have seen great success in the USA, UK, Singapore and Canada — it means discerning consumers will soon be able to find the ISP that is best equipped to handle their extreme Netflix viewing habits.

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