Clare launches broadband broadside against Turnbull

Australian speeds up but international ranking down

Shadow communications minister Jason Clare has seized on Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report as evidence that the government’s broadband plan has come unstuck.

“Australia has crashed in the global broadband rankings – again,” the opposition’s broadband spokesperson said in a statement issued yesterday.

“Less than three years ago when Malcolm Turnbull changed course on the National Broadband Network Australia was ranked 30th in the world for average peak connection speed.

“Today we are ranked 60th. Australia’s broadband ranking crashed 14 spots last quarter alone.

“We are behind most of Asia and most of Europe, the US and Canada. We are even behind Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Poland.”

Akamai's report revealed that in Q4 2015 Australia’s average peak connection speed was 39.3 megabits per second, giving it a global rank of 60; in the prior quarter Australia was ranked 46th.

The figure represents a quarter on quarter decline of 6.3 per cent and a year on year increase of 6.4 per cent.

Clare contrasted this to the state of Australia’s broadband just before the Coalition was elected in 2013. Then, that same metric ranked Australia as 30th in the world for average peak connectivity speed.

The country’s rank has also dropped across average connection speed, 4Mbps+ broadband penetration, and 10Mbps+ broadband penetration.

Despite the drop in rankings, the measures themselves have increased, however. For example, in Q3 2013 Australia’s average peak connection speed was 30.1Mbps.

Average connection speed was 5.5Mbps (compared to 8.2Mbps), 4Mbps+ broadband penetration was 51 per cent (compared to 73 per cent), and high-speed broadband penetration was 8.1 per cent (compared to 20 per cent in the Q4 2015 report).

“Under Malcolm Turnbull’s second rate copper NBN, Australia’s international broadband competitiveness has crashed against every broadband metric that has a measure,” Clare said.

“Australian businesses need reliable, fast broadband to compete in the global digital economy, but Malcolm Turnbull is shackling Australia to an NBN that relies on last century’s copper.”

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