Wednesday, 22 June 2016 08:15

Labor claims on Internet speeds falling to 60th globally 'correct' Featured

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The Australian Labor Party's claims that the country has fallen globally from 30th to 60th in Internet speeds under the Coalition government are correct, according to the ABC's Fact Check unit.

The claim was made by Labor communications spokesman Jason Clare on the ABC's Radio National Breakfast programme on 13 June.

When asked about the source, the ABC's Fact Check unit says it was referred to Labor's broadband policy document for the upcoming 2 July election by a spokesman for Clare.

The spokesman said that Akamai's state of the internet quarterly reports were the basis of the claim.

Akamai, a global content delivery and network services company, issues reports on Internet connectivity and security. Its Q4 2015 report is the latest available for connectivity. The Q1 2016 report on security is out.

A number of experts contacted by Fact Check said that Akamai provided a reasonable indication of Internet activity, given the size of its content delivery networks.

Fact Check also contacted David Belson, the editor of the Akamai report, who wrote a blog post earlier this year, explaining the metrics used to obtain data published in the report.

The Fact Check unit concluded: "The (Akamai) reports show Australia's average peak connection speed of 30.1 megabits per second ranked 30th in the world in the quarter ending in September 2013, the month the Coalition took office.

"The most recent report available at the time the claim was made shows Australia's average peak connection speed of 39.3 mbps ranked 60th in the world in the quarter ending in December 2015.

"Experts consulted by Fact Check said the Coalition contributed to Australia's drop in rankings for several reasons, including its policy of rolling out fibre to the node technology rather than fibre to the premises."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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