Record Numbers Of Australians Are Complaining About Our Shitty Internet Speeds

According to global rankings Australia's internet is actually getting worse.


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New data released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman today has revealed that consumer complaints about internet services are at their highest level in five years.

The most common complaints relate to faulty or slow connections, and a surprisingly large chunk of them relate to the National Broadband Network (NBN). Complaints about the NBN’s services have increased by 150 percent compared to last year, which suggests that despite that despite the promise of faster and more reliable services, Australians still aren’t happy.

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According to the Ombudsman, the rise in complaints could be due to Australians having unrealistic expectations of what the NBN is supposed to deliver.

But the fact is Australia’s internet is woefully slow compared to the rest of the developed world, and we’re going backwards. Over the past few years we’ve dropped from 30th in the world in terms of internet speeds to 60th.

The average connection speed in Australia is 8.5 megabits per second (Mbps). Japan’s average connection speed is 17.1 Mbps, Thailand’s is 13.7 Mbps, the UK’s is 15 Mbps and in the US it’s 15.3 Mbps.

The NBN was supposed to provide access to speeds of 100 Mbps for the vast majority of Australians. But the rejigging of the network under the Coalition government (thanks former Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull!) has meant that speeds at peak time, for example when everyone gets home in the afternoon and starts watching Netflix, are much slower than promised.

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So even if you’re lucky enough to be connected to the NBN, you’re still going to struggle with receiving the fastest advertised speeds when you most want them. And those of us not on the new network are still struggling on an ancient copper network that was built during World War I.

To put all these numbers into some kind of context we can all understand, according to Netflix’s speed index the average Australian is only able to pull down a standard definition stream.

You know all those incredibly pretty looking 4K ultra-HD televisions sitting in JB Hi-Fi whenever you walk in? They might look super sharp in the store, but when you take them home and switch on a streaming service like Netflix or Stan, chances are you aren’t going to be able to watch anything with enough quality to make the purchase worthwhile.

And as more and more Australians ditch TV for streaming services, internet speeds could slow down even further due to the current design of the NBN.

So don’t expect those complaints to go away anytime soon.