Benchmarker defends Oz broadband report

ISPs can't deliver advertised Internet speeds, says Epitiro.

A telco analyst firm responsible for a scathing report on Internet access in Australia has defended its claims amid a barrage of criticism.

The Epitiro 2008 Australian Internet Performance Index report claimed Australians receive 65.5 percent of advertised Internet speeds over local TCP connections, and only 53.7 percent of touted ADSL2+ speeds.

Overseas Internet connectivity was worse still, with speeds plummeting to a quarter of those advertised, and ADSL2+ dropping as low as 6.8 percent. Ping times for gamers to servers in the US, the UK and Japan were below acceptable levels. The report concluded Australian broadband may struggle with overseas connectivity.

The company which supplies benchmarking data to telcos around the world, installed “automated reporting agents” in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane that logged Internet speeds from October to December last year for new standard customer accounts setup without the knowledge of ISPs. The report covered Web browsing, streaming media, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and online gaming.

The report gave Telstra the top spot for deliverable Internet speeds, followed by TPG, iiNet, Netspace, and AAPT, while Optus came in eighth spot, behind Westnet.

Local telecommunications analyst Paul Budde said the report should be taken “with a grain of salt” due to variables that may skew results, but conceded broadband speeds in Australia are poor.

“There so many uncertainties that influence these kind of surveys, like geography, and the quality of local exchanges and in-house networks,” Budde said.

“Depending on where you measure it, download speeds could vary a lot, even between suburbs. This is so important because two people on the same service could have hugely different Internet speeds.

“The top five providers in the report would rank about the same across most surveys...If HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial) cable was tested, I would suspect Optus would rank as high as Telstra.”

Epitro Australasia managing director Mike Cranna said enough good data exists to produce accurate results -- despite the network uncertainties -- for a decisive results.

“A very clear picture emerges across different regions and different customer-premises equipment. There is a degree of homogeneity in both networks and customer-premises equipment that means it is possible to see the trends despite these variables,” Cranna said.

“You do not need to measure every endpoint in a network to understand its performance; any network engineer knows this, and it is a fact intrinsic to the concept of a network.

“You do not need to measure e-mail to every household to know the e-mail platform has fallen over! Similarly, to test for kidney failure, you test the kidney; it's not necessary to test every cell in the body.”

Cranna said the fibre networks Budde referred to were not tested because of limited coverage. He said it does measure HFC networks but did not publish the results because the technology is not readily available.

The firm tests data network speeds for synchronisation, cached and non-cached HTTP downloads, DNS, ping and packet loss, and has separate procedures for VoIP and video. Tests are run from laboratories in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Variables are measured from the same rack and exchange.

Some 3000 agents used to measure speeds are distributed across the country which Cranna said provides for a “very clear picture of the overall performance of ISPs”. Statistics on variables such as customer-premises equipment gathered by the agents can be measured against laboratory results.

Epitiro reported last month that broadband speeds had “small but significant” improvments from Q3 to Q4 last year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags broadband

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Darren Pauli

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?