Tuesday, 29 September 2020 11:26

ACCC says fixed-line NBN connections held up well in May and June Featured

ACCC chairman Rod Sims. ACCC chairman Rod Sims. Courtesy YouTube

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says fixed-line NBN broadband services have held up well in May and June despite the increased demand.

The ACCC said its its quarterly Measuring Broadband Australia report that this was the first time detailed results were available on how the network fared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have seen an improvement in download speeds for all speed tier plans and across all retail service providers during the period from May to June,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

The ACCC said MyRepublic and iiNet had shown the biggest improvement in peak-hour download speeds, improving by 5.4% and 4.0% respectively, since the last report.

"Speeds are also similar to those seen prior to the pandemic, in spite of a prolonged surge in broadband demand as households and businesses practice coronavirus restrictions," Sims added.

“NBN Co’s decision to offer RSPs 40% extra network capacity free has been vital to the network’s sustained performance, and we welcome their decision to extend this offer until 30 November.”

The latest report, the 10th, has tested video streaming for all plans from NBN12 to NBN 100, and says how many simultaneous streams a plan can support.

“Our streaming test now includes all major NBN plans but we are keen to expand our testing to the new gigabit plans some RSPs offer. We encourage people on these new plans to sign up to our program,” Sims said.

The ACCC said streaming test results of popular Netflix content indicated that all plans could allow at least one HD stream, with the higher speed plans being able to successfully support multiple ultra-high definition quality content at one time.

“These results should prompt consumers to contact their RSPs to better understand which plans best suit their needs and streaming quality preferences,” Sims said.

He said under-performing services continued to fall, from 9.6% to 8.1%, because consumers had got modem or in-home wiring issues fixed, or else moved to lower and less expensive plans to get the speeds for which they had paid.

“We encourage NBN Co and RSPs to continue to build upon this result especially given the additional investment in FttN service improvements announced last week by NBN Co,” Sims said.

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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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