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No CHOICE but to independently test NBN ISP speeds

It’s not just the ACCC that wants volunteers for NBN speed tests, but now consumer advocate CHOICE also wants consumers to help ensure NBN providers are delivering the speeds they promise.

With the ACCC seeking volunteers for NBN speed tests in late June, and Choice only just having released its ISP reliability survey, the little consumer advocate battler is sticking up for Aussies again with its newest initiative.

Choice wants to “mobilise households across the country in a bid to keep Internet service providers on the NBN, such as Telstra and Dodo, honest about the internet speeds they can actually deliver to customers.”

How can you help Choice to do this? By signing up at the relevant part of Choice’s website, of course!

Choice says its renewed call comes “following NBN’s announcement today that 1-in-2 of all Australian households can now access the network”, which you can read about here, and which you can read my take on following Communications Minister Mitch Fifield’s media release earlier today.

CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey said: “With our latest Internet satisfaction survey showing that 60% of Australians who are currently on the NBN faced issues with their provider in the past six months, it’s vital these services are independently monitored to ensure we’re getting what we pay for.”

A reminder of the biggest issues uncovered with the NBN "over the past six months were slow speeds (44%), disconnections/drop outs and variable performance (42%) and just connecting to the NBN (31%).”

Godfrey added: “With a significant number of Australians experiencing issues with their NBN service, we want to get to the bottom of speed issues to make sure people aren’t left in the slow lane.

“We need Internet service providers on the NBN to provide reliable services and deliver internet speeds that meet their stated claims.”

So, what CHOICE has done is to “join forces with technology testing company Enex TestLab to gather information on actual broadband speeds experienced by consumers across the country".

We are told that “Enex TestLab has used eMetric devices to independently test, monitor and report privately on national broadband performance across the majority of ISPs to various stakeholder programmes, primarily government, since 2004.”

Godfrey concluded: “We’re looking for Australians in more than 100 postcodes across the country to join our NBN speed test. From Albury to Applecross, Hobart to Hamilton or Slacks Creek to South Coogee, if you have an NBN connection we would like you to join our NBN speed test.”

CHOICE says it will be “reporting regularly on a range of metrics, including advertised speeds versus actual speeds, average download and upload speeds, average monthly downtime, and disconnections per month.”

To join the CHOICE NBN speed test, click here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.