AUSTRALIA AND NZ TUMBLE IN FIXED BROADBAND SPEEDS – BUT IT’S BETTER NEWS FOR MOBILE

Both Australia and New Zealand have taken a tumble in Ookla’s latest fixed broadband speed tests – with mobile broadband speeds presenting a better story for both countries.

Australia plunged five places down the fixed broadband table to be ranked 60 with a download speed of just 33.28 – putting us behind Uruguay and just ahead of Kazakhstan. That speed puts Australia below the global average of 55.52 according to the speed testing service.

New Zealand – which has enjoyed a much smoother ultrafast broadband rollout and where 1Gbps is increasingly the choice for consumers (accounting for around eight percent of new connections across the Chorus network) – keeps it’s big lead over Australia. While it was down three places, it’s still ranked 24th globally, behind China, and clocked an average speed of 85.56Mbps.

The roles are reversed, however, on the mobile front, where Australia held steady with its sixth place and an average speed of 56.70 – beating Singapore, which was down three places and managed an average speed of 54.96.

New Zealand was up one place to number 19 on the global table, at 44.74Mbps.

The results are for the January calendar month.

The top three positions for both fixed and mobile were unchanged.

SIngapore took top spot for fixed broadband, with an average speed of 197.04, well ahead of second placed Hong Kong at 169.40, and Iceland, at 159.30.

On the mobile front Iceland was out front, followed by Norway and Canada, at 73.93Mbps, 70.29Mbps and 65.68Mbps, respectively.

Yemen took bottom slot – number 177 – for fixed broadband with an average download speed of just 3.23Mbps, while Tajikistan was last – at number 137 – in the mobile stakes with a speed of 5.04Mbps.

The results come as New Zealand network provider Chorus says its average connection speed for February hit a record 100Mbps.

Chorus network strategy manager Kurt Rodgers says increasing speeds are driven by the rapid uptake of high speed plans, with 71 percent of customers on 100Mbps, and 44,000 now on 1Gbps plans. Awareness of VDSL technology is also on the rise.

“Dunedin has the highest average connection speed at 361Mbps, largely due to the high volume of gig connections. Coming in second is Wellington City, at an average of 116Mbps, followed closely by Auckland at 111Mbps,” he says.

“It’s particularly exciting to see people choosing higher speed plans as it shows a growing awareness of the need for great broadband to be to do the things we love, such as watch live sports events, including the upcoming Rugby World Cup in September,” Rodgers says.

Chrous is kicking off trials of a 10Gbps consumer broadband plans in New Zealand this month.

Telcos Vodafone and Vocus – New Zealand’s second and third largest broadband providers – have also recently announcing plans for a 10Gbps service, taking advantage of a law change which enables unbundling of UFB. The unbundling enables retail service providers to install their own equipment on the fibre networks run by Chorus and other fibre companies.

Jason Paris, Vodafone NZ CEO, says “To date, retail service providers could only sell a range of ‘one size fits most’ fibre products. But retailers such as Vodafone and Vocus are constantly watching world technology markets and the constant stream of new developments. We know there is a lot more than can be done with an unbundled fibre connection and a lot more choice in the types of products we could be offering our customers.”

But while the technology was recently demonstrated in Auckland, it’s a long way from coming to fruition for the average Kiwi, with details of the wholesale pricing to access the network  yet to be finalised.