Thursday, 04 July 2019 20:12

ACMA NBN modem testing shows 5GHz band better for Wi-Fi Featured

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ACMA NBN modem testing shows 5GHz band better for Wi-Fi Pixabay

A test of 43 modems used on fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-building NBN connections indicates that use of the 5GHz band is much better than 2.4GHz when it comes to Wi-Fi throughput.

The tests were carried out during December and January in laboratory conditions by a company known as Enex for the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Services from Optus, Telstra and iiNet were used for the tests.

Both wired and Wi-Fi throughput were tested and the findings indicated that in the former case there was little difference between the various modems, but in the case of Wi-Fi there was a great deal of difference in throughput.

Modem performance was also tested through walls, at long distances and in circumstances where interference was present from cabling and common household devices like microwave ovens.

While the 43 modems tested spanned a range pf brands, only one, the Linksys X6200 AC750, was unable to connect to any of the test services.

Twenty-six of the devices were sourced from electronic retailers with the remaining 17 sourced from 10 NBN retail service providers.

Enex found that better Wi-Fi performance could be achieved using a device that used the 802.11ac standard (or next generation 802.11ax, also known as Wi-Fi 6) operating in the 5GHz band.

The tests showed that for copper cabling up to 450 metres, most devices were able to achieve 80% of the manufacturer’s advertised line performance. As the length of copper was increased, performance dropped.

But the Netcomm N300 NF10WV, a device supplied by Harbour ISP, was an exception as performance dropped sharply at a line length of 450 metres.

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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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