This is the first time that outages (see chart below) have been measured in the Measuring Broadband Australia report, the fifth of which was compiled with data from about 1000 volunteers in February. [The results of the fourth and third reports are here and here.]
“We expect this new reporting to drive retailers to improve their service on outages, as it has with lifting speed performances,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“There are various reasons why an outage may occur, so we encourage consumers experiencing a high rate of drop-outs to contact their retail service provider to discuss whether they have a fault with their connection or modem.”
Download speeds had fallen during the previous testing period, which the ACCC said could be accounted for by the fact that RSPs were migrating customers to new wholesale products offered by the NBN Co.
The report said Exetel and Dodo/iPrimus both improved on their speed test performance. iiNet posted the biggest improvement for download speed during busy hours, while TPG achieved the highest percentage of its maximum download speed.
“It is good to see providers improving their performance in recent months, including those whose performance was seen to be lagging in our previous report,” Sims said.
“We believe the additional transparency and scrutiny provided by our monitoring program has helped lift speeds across RSPs.”
However, the report also said some consumers were continuing to experience under-performing services that never achieved anything close to the speeds advertised. This affected 13% of the volunteers in the program including one in four fibre-to-the-node customers who were on 50/20Mbps and 100/40Mbps plans.
“RSPs need to continue to monitor their networks to ensure their speed claims are realistic, and we expect NBN Co and RSPs to work harder together to help consumers achieve the speeds they are paying for,” Sims said.
“We will be watching to see how companies respond to customers who aren’t getting the advertised speeds on their current plans, and we will act on misleading speed and performance claims made by providers.
“Consumers should also ask whether their service could be being affected by in-house wiring issues, which in many cases can be remedied through a visit from a technician.”
Graphics: courtesy ACCC