Australia's Internet Speeds Are A Global Embarrassment

Image: iStock

Australia continues to fall behind most of the developed world when it comes to home broadband internet speeds. According to Akamai's latest State of the Internet Report, our internet connection speeds are now slower than 50 other nations, including the likes of Thailand, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kenya. Here's the full list of countries with better internet than Australia. (It makes for painful reading.)

The Akamai State of the Internet Report is a quarterly analysis of internet connection speeds, network availability and IPv6 adoption progress around the world. At the end of 2015, Australia was ranked 48th in the world. In Q3 2916, we were down to 50th. Now, despite our average speeds increasing from 9.6Mbps to 10.1Mbps, we have dropped out of the Top 50 entirely. Tch.

Here are the 50 countries and territories that currently have faster average internet speeds than Australia, ranked from fastest to slowest:

  1. South Korea: 26.1Mbps
  2. Norway: 23.6Mbps
  3. Sweden: 22.817.3Mbps
  4. Hong Kong: 21.9Mbps
  5. Switzerland: 21.23Mbps
  6. Denmark: 20.7Mbps
  7. Finland 20.6Mbps
  8. Singapore: 20.2Mbps
  9. Japan: 19.6Mbps
  10. Netherlands: 17.6Mbps
  11. Iceland: 17.4Mbps
  12. Jersey: 17.4Mbps
  13. Czech Republic: 17.3Mbps
  14. Latvia: 17.2Mbps
  15. United States: 17.2Mbps
  16. United Kingdom: 16.3Mbps
  17. Romania: 16.1Mbps
  18. Belgium: 15.9Mbps
  19. Taiwan: 15.6Mbps
  20. Bulgaria: 15.6Mbps
  21. Spain: 15.4Mbps
  22. Ireland: 15.3Mbps
  23. Kenya: 15.0Mbps
  24. Canada: 14.9Mbps
  25. Lithuanian: 14.6Mbps
  26. Germany: 14.6Mbps
  27. Israel: 14.4Mbps
  28. Hungary: 14.3Mbps
  29. Slovenia: 14.0Mbps
  30. Austria: 13.9Mbps
  31. Thailand: 13.3Mbps
  32. Slovakia: 13.0Mbps
  33. Malta: 12.9Mbps
  34. New Zealand: 12.9Mbps
  35. Andorra: 12.8Mbps
  36. Macao: 12.8Mbps
  37. Portugal: 12.6Mbps
  38. Ukraine: 12.4Mbps
  39. Poland: 12.4Mbps
  40. Guernsey: 12.1Mbps
  41. Qatar: 11.9Mbps
  42. Russia: 11.6Mbps
  43. Estonia 11.4Mbps
  44. Moldova: 11.1Mbps
  45. Luxembourg: 11.1Mbps
  46. Isel Of Man: 11.0Mbps
  47. Pureto Rico: 10.8Mbps
  48. United Arab Emirates: 10.7Mbps
  49. Serbia: 10.5Mbps
  50. Reunion: 10.2Mbps

On the plus side, Australia is leading the Asia-Pacific region in terms of mobile connectivity - our average mobile connection speed is 13.8Mbps, which is ahead of the Americas' region leader Canada (10.3Mbps). We are also well above the global average broadband speed of 7Mbps. This is despite having a far larger territory to cover and a lower population density than many countries on the list.

Nevertheless, our overall ranking compared to the rest of the world can only be described as a disappointment. In its original guise, the National Broadband Network promised to make us world leaders when it came to broadband technology. Instead, we're being bested by most developed Asia-Pacific nations including South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand. Our 4Mbps+ broadband adoption rates were also the lowest in the region with a decline in adoption of 1.9 per cent.

With that said, Australia is still in the process of building the NBN. As Akamai notes: "Providing fast, reliable internet to a vast rural population of this scale is a challenge that no other country has to deal with. It’s hard to compare Australia’s speeds to a small and densely populated country like Singapore for example, where a single switch provides hundreds of thousands of people with Internet."

We have seen drastic improvements compared to a few years ago. Back in 2013, the average speed delivered in Australia was 4.7 megabits per second. It's also worth noting that ADSL services still make up the bulk of the approximate 10 million internet services in Australia.

If the completed NBN rollout gets us anywhere near the region of 25 megabits per second, our rankings will improve accordingly. But for now, 51st place is a pretty poor showing.

Australia's Broadband Speeds Still Lagging Behind But At Least We Have Fast Mobile Connections

Australia's average broadband speed ranking is down but the country is leading the Asia-Pacific region in terms of mobile connectivity, according to Akamai's State of The Internet report for the last quarter of 2016.

Read more

[Via Akamai]

This article originally appeared on Lifehacker.



    The National Fraudband Network is still using copper so things will only continue to get worse until we have a full, nationwide rollout of FTTP

      I prefer to put blame where it's due and call in the CBN (the Coalition's Broadband Network).

      Anyhow with the existing copper network continuing its entropy trip those not on full fibre can expect things to only get worse.

        How can your country be such a fail in terms of internet? Copper should not be an issue as the USA can pull off Gigabit and beyond over copper, granted it's not symmetrical but it can still be done, and the DOCSIS 3.1 standard can handle those speeds. We also have countless local and regional providers that provide FTTP, I am on one of them.

          Copper in urban areas is half the time corroded, submerged, or blasted apart by lightning. The main problem with the NBN is that they stopped deploying backbone fibre, and defined NBN to be a last mile service. Then they attempted to get back all the billions, by asking too much for the node bandwidth. There is a lot of dark fibre deployed, but because there is a division between the NBN and the private companies supplying retail, they don't just let the private companies use all the bandwidth. If a single company put some fibre down, it would tend to use most of it, and slowly congest it. But NBN sits on dark stuff, and sells little bits out at high prices.

    "This is despite having a far larger territory to cover and a lower population density than many countries on the list"

    I wouldn't call this accurate. Australia is pocketed with large population centers with very little in between. You don't get those high speeds in the bush, or on the freeway between Melbourne and Sydney. In both cases, you're lucky to even get a signal at times. All in all, this makes providing mobile coverage much easier than say trying to cover the US, which has a larger surface area and very few wide swatches of land without a significant population to cover.

    Norway, Sweden, Canada, Iceland and Kenya I suspect have similar population distributions and densities... And there are many countries on that list that are far far poorer than Australia but still can manage to put together functional infrastructure whereas this "rich" nation is heading towards a 3rd world standard.

    I turn my wifi off at home and sometimes connect my laptop to my mobile tethered because the speed drops too low. We can either watch Netflix on low def or go on our phones on wifi but both is not possible sometimes. My ADSL2 fluctuates between 0.8 and 5 Mbps often several times over an evening.

    our internet connection speeds are now slower than 50 other nations, including the likes of Thailand, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kenya
    Internet speed aside, I find that comment to be really insulting in a way. Especially if I was Thai or a Bulgarian, whats so wrong with these countries being better than us at a few things?

    Gizmodo should be embarrassed to publish this nonsense - Akamai "tests" measure the speed of a download (music, software updates, CDN located websites), NOT the speed of connections to the internet as implied by their promotion.

    The problem is Akamai rely on the IP address as a proxy for a connection, that is simply not a reality. Many ISPs use dynamic IP addresses which means they change connection a lot. Knowledge of the IP address use is required to distinguish between Mobile and Fixed, many ISPs have both. Wifi, tethering and free wifi are all included in this measure, especially as it includes music downloads and is also likely to include speed limited video streaming.

    This may be a ranking of the way different countries use the internet, it is definitely NOT a measure of internet speed by country.

    For NZ Akamai confuses IP addresses between fixed and mobile, hence NZ Mobile is the "fastest" in their tests, which may not be true. I expect Akamai will do the same with Telstra because Telstra have both. That may slow the apparent speed by simply showing the impact of music downloads from phones in poor reception areas.

    NZ speed average is nearly twice the number they quote, whether you use the average page download speed or the peak speed of a file download.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now