Fixed wireless NBN upload speeds struggle to reach advertised plan speeds: ACCC

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Fixed wireless NBN upload speeds struggle to reach advertised plan speeds: ACCC

Said telcos achieved just over 56 percent of the listed speeds.

Fixed wireless internet services over the NBN are only reaching up to just over half of most telcos’ advertised upload speeds, a report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed.

In the agency’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report, which had included daily average upload performance for the first time, found that NBN fixed wireless services during September 2021 achieved an average upload performance of 56.2 percent of plan speeds throughout the day, dipping down to 44.8 percent during “busy hours” between 7pm to 11pm.

While fixed wireless is used by about 4 percent of all NBN consumers, it is used more widely in rural and regional areas, as well as outer metro areas.

In comparison, NBN fixed-line plans achieved 84.9 percent of advertised speeds during the busy hour period.

“Upload speed determines how fast you can send information from your computer or device to the internet, which is particularly important for working from home, online gaming and uploading files to cloud storage,” ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“Given the growing importance of upload speeds to how consumers use their broadband services, the ACCC is keeping a close eye on how clear retailers are with their customers about upload speeds, and we will consider any necessary amendments to our Broadband Speeds Claims Guidance for industry.”

The Fixed Wireless Plus plan, which has advertised speeds of 75Mbps down and 10Mbps up, had average upload speeds of only 4.7 Mbps during busy hours between August and October. The 25/5 Mbps NBN fixed wireless plan meanwhile reached maximum speeds of 4Mbps during the busy hours.

“Consumers on the NBN Fixed Wireless Plus plan are experiencing relatively low upload speeds. A typical video conference will require 2 Mbps of available upload, which means some consumers might have trouble achieving high quality while video conferencing, particularly if there are multiple conferences occurring,” Brakey said.

The ACCC report also revealed that NBN fibre to the node (FTTN) connections are still reporting at or below 75 percent of advertised speeds during September, saying it had not improved since the last report.

In comparison, customers on NBN “Ultrafast” plans (up to gigabit speeds) have seen speed improvements from May to September, increasing from an average download speed range of between 617 and 715 Mbps in May to 680 and 813 Mbps in September.

“There are a significant number of consumers on fibre to the node connections that are not performing as well as other network connections. It is disappointing that progress by NBN Co and retailers to improve these connections has stalled,” Brakey said.

Copyright © CRN Australia. All rights reserved.

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