Australian Internet speeds are below average and behind the likes of Mongolia and Liechtenstein, according to Ookla's new Net Index tool.
Australians have an average Internet download speed of 6.28 megabits per second (Mbps), behind the global average of 7.67Mbps. South Korea boasts the highest speeds, at 34.14Mbps, while Sudan suffers with an average of 0.34Mbps, according to Net Index.
Average upload speeds in Australia were 900Kbps in the last 30 days, compared to a global average of 2.1Mbps. Lebanon was bottom of the pile, at 90Kbps, while South Koreans uploaded at an average of 18.04Mbps.
The statistics were gathered over the last 30 days from Ookla's popular Internet speed measurement tests, Speedtest.net and Pingtest.net, and made public for the first time since their launch in 2007.
While the statistics are certainly more up to date than those released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or locally by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), they impinge on a wide user base of all Internet connection types testing their speeds through Speedtest.net. As a result, they are seen as biased and self-selecting by some in the industry
The ABS, which defines broadband as any connection greater than 256Kbps, found in December 2009 that Australia still had 941,000 residential and business dial-up connections of a total 9.1 million Internet subscribers. Since the statistics do not distinguish between dial-up and broadband connections, it is difficult to determine how many of each type of connection took part in the speed tests.
Internet service provider iPrimus' chief executive officer, Ravi Bhatia, claimed similar averages when talking about the limitations of ADSL2+, currently the most prevalent type of broadband connection in Australia. Bhatai said that, in real-world circumstances, ADSL2+ subscribers could expect an average downstream speed of six to seven megabits per second, and an average upload speed of 384Kbps.
(Learn more about Australia's Internet speeds have changed in our NBN argument 101 series)