Australia lagging behind in internet quality

Australia’s 2016 global rankings in network readiness, internet speed and download speed show that the nation is lagging behind in internet quality.

While approximately one million Australian households have switched over to the National Broadband Network (NBN), the nation’s ranking for network readiness has slipped from 16 to 18 over the past year, and from ninth in 2004, based on the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Information Technology Report.

Furthermore, while the nation’s global internet speed ranking has increased since last year (putting Australia in 56th place), it has seen the smallest growth in the Asia-Pacific region, and its ranking has dropped from 30th place three years ago. This puts Australia below countries such as New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.

In terms of peak download speed, the nation’s speed has reached 43mbps, which is an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to last year. However, nearby Singapore’s peak download speed increased by 49 per cent to 146mbps – more than triple Australia’s top speed. Hong Kong, Indonesia and South Korea all achieved double the average peak download speed in Australia.

The nation’s average download speed has also improved marginally, reaching 8.8mbps and putting the nation in 48th place. This speed is enough to watch YouTube videos but less than half the speed needed to stream 4K TV shows from Netflix, however.

According to Internet Australia executive Laurie Patton, the key to increasing Australia’s digital competitiveness is to upgrade the speed of the NBN, so Australia can catch up to the internet speeds of other countries.