Wednesday, 06 February 2019 09:43

ACCC speed testing shows FttN lagging other connections Featured

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ACCC chairman Rod Sims: “It is good to see that providers have generally managed the transition to NBN Co’s new wholesale products without too much impact on customers." ACCC chairman Rod Sims: “It is good to see that providers have generally managed the transition to NBN Co’s new wholesale products without too much impact on customers." Supplied

Testing of broadband speeds by the ACCC has shown that fibre-to-the-premises and hybrid fibre coaxial connections deliver about 86% to 87% of plan speeds during busy hours — 7pm to 11pm — compared to about 79% for fibre-to-the-node connections.

In its fourth Measuring Broadband Australia report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said when under-performing services were removed, the results were comparable for all three technologies, at about 88%.

The competition watchdog said on Wednesday this indicated that many more FttN customers could expect to see similar speeds on their existing plans as those on FttP and HFC.

download speeds busy hours

Download speeds during busy hours.

The ACCC tested 25, 50 and 100Mbps plans, and ADSL services over 30 days in November last year for this report. More than 980 NBN and ADSL services supplied by 15 retail service providers were tested, using 220,000 download speed tests.

“We expect NBN Co and RSPs’ focus to remain on fixing speed-related problems and ensuring consumers receive good speeds on their current plans, regardless of which NBN fixed-line technology is supplied to them,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

The report said download speeds at the busiest hour — when RSP networks were under the most stress during the testing period — were much lower than at other times during the busy period. Different RSPs returned results varying from 71.8% of the plan maximum to as low as 48.3%.

download speeds busiest hour

Download speeds during the busiest hour.

The ACCC said it believed the drop in speeds could be due to retailers migrating customers to new wholesale NBN products launched in October.

“It is good to see that providers have generally managed the transition to NBN Co’s new wholesale products without too much impact on customers,” said Sims.

"We will await the next round of speed testing results with interest, to see if providers have improved their performance.”

upload speeds busy hours

Upload speeds during busy hours.

The ACCC found that under-performing services — about 13% of all tested connections and mostly FttN services — had a significant impact on the overall download speed results.

These services never came close to the maximum speed promised, because of either limitations with some FttN lines, or connection issues such as in-house wiring faults.

Charts: courtesy ACCC

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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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