ACCC reveals results of NBN testing

And they're 'better than expected'.

  • Most providers achieve at least 80% of their advertised speeds
  • About 5% of customers are getting less than half the speed promised
  • Results are based on 60,000 speed tests

TPG has outperformed Optus, iiNet and Telstra in delivering NBN services during the busiest times of day, initial results from the ACCC's Measuring Broadband Australia program reveal.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published early findings from its $7 million broadband monitoring program, which captures snapshots of people's real-world internet speeds using tiny white boxes connected to their modems.

Data was collected from 400 volunteers using NBN and ADSL services, with 61,000 speed tests performed during February and March.

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The tests found Australia's largest NBN providers are delivering speeds close to their advertised limits for the vast majority of users, though 5% of homes are not getting even half of what they were sold.

"The results for some types of services are still lower than we would like, but the overall results go against the current wisdom that the majority of consumers and businesses are having issues with NBN speeds," says Rod Sims, chair of the ACCC.

During the prime-time hours of 7 to 11pm, TPG was reaching 91% of its maximum speeds, followed by iiNet at 89%, Telstra at 88% and Optus at 81%.

The tests were conducted after the broadband industry underwent notable reform. Changes to Nbn Co's pricing resulted in customers getting less congested internet services, while refunds were secured by the ACCC for 74,000 NBN users who were sold plans with speeds they couldn't achieve.

"It is highly likely that just a few months ago these results would not have been anywhere near as good," Sims says.

The ADSL results were less impressive, with people getting only two-thirds of the maximum advertised speeds.

The ACCC described the size of the 400 volunteer sample as 'significant', though it expects to increase the number of volunteers to 2000 when a second report is released next year.

The results come after the first data release from CHOICE's own broadband performance review. We've collected data from 1200 participants around Australia to find which internet service providers are providing the speeds customers have signed up for. Our review includes details on the internet delivery technologies, carriers and plans.