We’ve all relied on the NBN a lot this year to deliver fast internet speeds while we work from home instead of the office, and rather fortunately for most, NBN has delivered.
In its latest Measuring Broadband Australia report, the ACCC has found that Australia’s Retail Service Providers have delivered 94% of promised plan speeds in the peak evening period of 7 to 11pm. At the low end, providers have hit 84%, and the highest performer has reached a whopping 98.5% of promised speeds.
That top performer was Optus, but it’s not just Optus that’s hit the high marks; other providers hitting the highlights include Telstra and Superloop.
The reason for the speed boosts? Almost certainly NBN’s facilitation of over provisioning of retail services this year to ease the burden on the broadband network imposed by huge numbers of Aussies working from home:
“NBN Co’s decision to temporarily waive charges for up to 40 percent extra capacity for RSPs in the form of increased connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) has played a key role in supporting broadband speeds during the pandemic,” ACCC CHAIR ROD Sims said.
This over provisioning delivers 10-15% over the provisioned plan speeds, meaning that your average 50mb NBN plan is provisioned at around 55mbps. Once you take out protocol overheads, this means the plans can theoretically hit the actual 50mbps plan speed, instead of floating between 45-48mbps as they had previously.
It’s not all good news; the ACCC acknowledged that NBN’s least favourite connection technology – Fibre to the Node – continues to deliver the weakest results. However, there might be some good news in future, with NBN Co outlining a plan to allow a free upgrade for almost two million premises from FTTN to Fibre to the Premises in coming years.