Home Telecoms & NBN Spirit casts doubts on Morrow's fast Internet claims

Spirit casts doubts on Morrow's fast Internet claims

Broadband provider Spirit Telecom has countered the claims made by the NBN Co chief Bill Morrow that Australians are not interested in taking up fast Internet connections.

Spirit offers only symmetrical speeds and and its plans usually offer unlimited data. It sells superfast Internet to businesses and residential buildings in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

While releasing the NBN Co's half-year results on 10 February, Morrow said that Australians would not use super-fast broadband connections even if these were offered gratis.

Spirit managing director Geoff Neate said only 39% of his company's customers chose connections offering 25Mbps or less. The balance all chose connections that offered 50Mbps or more.

This was in sharp contrast to NBN Co's figures which showed that 84% of those on the NBN chose connections offering 25Mbps or less, leaving a small percentage on connections that provided 50Mbps or faster speeds.

Neate said Spirit had launched 400/400Mbps connections at Freshwater Place Apartments (FWP), "making it our fastest symmetrical speed building in Australia.

"Spirit 400 enables all apartments in FWP to have access to consistent, unlimited data, running at a superfast speed of up to 400/400Mbps, regardless of which floor or location that the ISP is being accessed," he said.

On its website, the company says: "Factors such as the hardware and software you use, Wi-Fi performance, interference from other wireless networks and household appliances, server-side bottlenecks and other devices accessing Internet via your router at the same time. When ordering Internet services above 100/100 Mbps, make sure that your home devices are gigabit-enabled and have required configuration capable of sending and accepting data above 100/100 Mbps."

Neate said, "Spirit's network gets tested daily by the increased traffic volume and demands of our customer base. There is no question that the consumers we speak to want speeds a lot higher than 12 or 25Mbps downloads.

"To stream, say, Netflix in UHD-TV it is recommended to have a minimum 25Mbps download speed. And that is before the user adds any other device, such as a tablet, laptop or phone to their connection. So we are well aware that our customers have a ravenous appetite for fast Internet."

"As Spirit is independent of the NBN network, there is less contention, brought about by NBN's CVC charges. That means that our customers are more likely to have an overall better internet experience."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.