Australia drops to 44th place for internet speed

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A new study by US-based firm Akamai showed that Australia ranked 44th for average connection speed, placing the country well behind its international peers.

Despite the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), the country’s connectivity to high-speed broadband failed to increase. In fact, internet speed in Australia fell 1.8 per cent during the third quarter of 2014 to 6.9 Mbps on average, revealed the “State of the Internet” report.

“In the latest report, Australia has dropped a couple of places down to the 44th position, which is a pretty big drop really over such a short period of time,” said Dr Mark Gregory, a network engineering expert from RMIT University.

Dr Gregory attributed Australia’s relative decline in ranking to other countries moving forward with upgraded and new networks. He noted that a lot of other countries are moving to cyber-based access networks or have already completed rollouts of “multi-technology mixing/mixed networks”.

“Whatever way you look at it, what it means is that the average speeds that Australians are enjoying are slowly becoming less than most of our competitors around the world,” he said.

The drop in rankings can also be partly attributed to the federal government’s decision to move from a fibre-to-the-home network to a mixed fibre/copper network, said Dr Gregory.

In December, Australia was listed as the country whose residents were most unhappy with their internet connections among nine developed and emerging countries, including the UK, the US, Germany and Japan.

In Juniper’s Global Bandwidth Index Report, Australians cited their connection speed and mobile data plans as the top two reasons that prevent them from fully enjoying their mobile connection capabilities.


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