Broadband performance measuring program FAQ

CHOICE and eMetric have set up a broadband measuring program - here are the frequently asked questions.

CHOICE has partnered with Enex TestLab for a project that involves the collection and publication of monthly broadband performance results using the Enex eMetric Smart Meter. The eMetric is connected to your home router for internet performance measuring.

What exactly will be measured?

  • Average download speed (peak/off-peak)
  • Average upload speed (peak/off-peak)
  • Average ping (connection) times (peak/off-peak)

Is the CHOICE/eMetric program the same as the ACCC program?

No, it is completely separate. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has funding for a Broadband Performance Measuring Program.

Where can I find out more?

Go to our Broadband Performance Measuring Program page to find out more. It has a link that will take you to eMetric to register your interest. Volunteer participants are being recruited around the country according to postcode, broadband provider and type of connection technology.

Who do I contact?

For help with registering, or if you are already registered and have an eMetric Smart Meter, contact Louise Hudson on with any queries or concerns. Enex distributes the eMetric Smart Meters and manages all queries about the program, device maintenance and technical issues.

Who is Enex TestLab?

Enex TestLab was founded and is headquartered in Australia and has a 28-year history and a university heritage. Enex is ISO 9001 quality certified and has an ISO 17025 accredited test facility. The majority of Enex clients are Government departments and agencies.

What is the eMetric device?

Since 2004, Enex has been utilising the eMetric Smart Meter devices to independently test, measure and report privately on national broadband performance across the majority of broadband providers to various stakeholder programs, primarily Government. Enex initially developed the eMetric product set in response to Government demand to provide a measuring and compliance service for infrastructure funding to broadband providers.

eMetric clients in Australia have included the Department of Communications, ZDNet/CBSi, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Australian Government Solicitor, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and the Department of Health and Ageing.

What do I need, and where should I plug the eMetric Smart Meter?

To operate, the eMetric Smart Meter requires one spare network port on your modem/router and a spare power point nearby (that can take the eMetric Smart Meter plug pack). Using the cable supplied, the eMetric Smart Meter should ideally be connected directly into a network port on your modem/router (usually provided by your broadband provider) that provides the internet connectivity to your premises.

Why is 'ping' time recorded?

The ping helps to record the service availability. It is a very low bandwidth test which essentially is a "wave" hello from the internet to ensure the service is active and to measure the responsiveness of the connection. A faster response time is critical for real-time applications such as internet voice calls (VoIP) and online gaming.

How big is the program?

Data will be gathered from eMetric devices placed in consumer premises, comprising an initial 1,000+ premises connected to the internet across a selection of technologies and broadband providers, and then a second phase that adds 1,500 premises. In the first phase, the project will collect data on a mix of fixed-line, wireless and satellite NBN connections. The second phase may include existing internet technologies such as ADSL and cable for comparison with higher speed technologies.

What will CHOICE do with the data?

CHOICE publishes a table of results with the aim to have it updated monthly. CHOICE will also publish articles related to the data. The data will be provided and published in aggregate – individual participants will not be identified in any published data – to show average performance for a range of broadband providers.

When will you be publishing the results?

The first batch of results was published in February 2018 and will be updated monthly.

Can I see my individual results of my service as a member of the program?

Not at this time. The results of the Broadband Performance Measuring Program for all contributing participants are aggregated and published monthly, providing you with an indication of the average internet service performance for your provider on that speed tier.

Can you spy on my internet use?

No, the eMetric Smart Meter devices are designed to simulate a computer connected to the internet and has no network traffic pass through, and no bridging network traffic ports. Nor do they have any local network traffic measuring capability. That means that your privacy is maintained throughout the life of the program.

How will my personal details be protected?

The privacy policy for eMetric is located here.

Is the eMetric Smart Meter reliable?

eMetric devices rarely fail. Each device is thoroughly tested before deployment and they have been utilised across Australia since 2011. However if one does go offline a member of the eMetric help desk will contact you and work with you to get it back online. Should it be faulty, they will arrange postage-paid return and a replacement. The eMetric devices and power supplies pass and are certified to all applicable standards required for use in Australia. If lost or stolen, please contact Enex and a replacement eMetric Smart Meter will be provided.

How much electricity will it use?

The eMetric Smart Meters are very low voltage and designed to use minimal electricity. They are solid state electronics with no mechanical components such as fans or hard drives and the majority of the time they are idle.

Will it slow down my internet or affect responsiveness?

Each test is scheduled to run for a very short time periodically. Depending on the speed of your internet connection this is typically less than two minutes. During that time, when the test is being executed, it will only affect the internet at your home in the same way another user performing a download/upload task would. It will not pause your internet or slow it down in general.

Do I need to keep my modem/router on?

Yes, your modem/router needs to be active, connected to the eMetric Smart Meter and both powered on to enable measuring. If either are switched off, the testing cannot be conducted. If you switch either off frequently, such as every night or when not in use, this would not be suitable for the program. If you are going to be switching either off for an extended period of time, such as a holiday, contact Louise Hudson on If a number of tests are missed, eMetric help desk will contact you to determine if there is a problem with your modem/router or if the eMetric device has been disconnected or powered-off for a reason.

How much of my data allowance will it use?

Each test is scheduled to run using the smallest amount of data required to receive an accurate measurement of internet performance. This averages approximately 10% of your data allowance. We are aware of broadband plans with restricted data limits and ensure tests scheduled at these premises are optimised with this in mind.

Read more about how we measure broadband provider performance.

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