Over six in ten Australian consumers see “estimated” download speeds on broadband of less than 24Mbps, new numbers show.
The numbers were produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after it took over data collection responsibilities from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last year.
The ACCC plans to drastically change the type of statistics collected in the report from June, meaning today’s numbers are effectively a one-off release.
As the ABS’ previous internet survey did, the ACCC numbers provide a general view of broadband usage across fixed and mobile networks.
But the ACCC numbers also return to download speeds, which haven’t been highlighted by the previous ABS report since mid-2017.
The ACCC said [pdf] that “as at 31 December 2018, a majority (61 percent) of broadband (fixed line and wireless, excluding mobile handset) services in operation had estimated download speeds of ‘less than 24 Mbps’ while the lowest proportion (five percent) of broadband services in operation had download speeds of ‘100 Mbps or greater’.”
In real terms, the ACCC said that 9.6 million consumer broadband services hit estimated speeds under 24Mbps.
iTnews has contacted the ACCC for additional comment on the “estimated” speeds measure.
The 24Mbps mark is historically significant because it is the maximum theoretical download speed that ADSL2+ is capable of.
It’s also where the government drew a line in the sand for the NBN; NBN Co’s statement of expectations is that all premises must be capable of peak download speeds of “at least 25Mbps”.
NBN Co has been trying to reduce the number of services it operates at 12Mbps speeds by making the costs uneconomic, despite the market's demonstrated need and desire for more affordable broadband products.
According to the ACCC, the total number of retail broadband services in operation was 39.9 million as at the end of last year, of which 24.3 million were mobile handsets.
Consumers were still saving their heaviest downloads for fixed-line services, given the large disparity in download quotas offered compared to cellular-based services.