Fixed-line services on the National Broadband Network have reached their fastest point since the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) began measuring speeds, nearly reaching parity with advertised speeds during evening hours.
Retail service providers (RSP) fluctuated between 86.8 per cent and 99.1 per cent of maximum plan speeds during evening hours of 7pm to 11pm in the month of February, according to the ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report.
Meanwhile, the overall average download speed was at 96.7 per cent.
This trumps the previous record captured in October 2020, which was considered to be the all-time high for the three-year old report, and saw evening speeds between 84.8 and 98.5 per cent, as well as average maximum speeds of over 94 per cent.
The differences in download speeds between RSPs narrowed since the previous quarterly report, which captured speeds during December, according to the national consumer watchdog.
“These latest results suggest the NBN is performing well and retail service providers are largely delivering what consumers expect and have paid for,” ACCC Commissioner, Anna Brakey, said.
Following on from this, the gap between larger and smaller telcos was also reduced during the period, with Exetel highlighted as the most improved telco, increasing its download speeds by 8.8 per cent since the last report to reach 98.7 per cent of plan speeds.
“These results suggest that a broader range of retailers, not just those that directly connect to the NBN, are able to achieve close to full plan speeds, which is good news for consumers and competition. This points to a further maturing of the broadband market,” Brakey said.
Fixed wireless connections slightly improved from the previous report, increasing to 81.2 per cent of maximum plan speeds during the day and declining to about 70.8 per cent during the evening hours.
“Despite the decline during busy hours, consumers on the fixed wireless network are experiencing sufficient speeds to access a range of internet applications,” Brakey said.
For the first time, the report also looked at very fast plans with download speeds from 500 to 990 Mbps, which it classifies as “Home Ultrafast”. In this bracket, which saw average speeds between 608 to 745 Mbps during the period, performance dropped by 23 per cent on average compared to the day’s maximum.
“We encourage consumers who are weighing up whether to upgrade to a very high speed tier to consider the value of these services relative to their normal daily usage,” Brakey added.
“Most Australians have 50 Mbps speed plans which are capable of meeting the needs of a typical household, even when multiple devices are online at the same time.”