10 Key Results From The Whirlpool Broadband Survey

10 Key Results From The Whirlpool Broadband Survey

Back in January, we encouraged readers to take part in the annual broadband survey conducted by legendary broadband community Whirlpool. The full results (based on 23,683 responses) have now been published: here’s ten of the most notable findings about the state of broadband in Australia.

Picture by yum9me

Everyone thinks mandatory Internet filtering is stupid

It’s not surprising really: almost 93% of respondents thought mandatory Internet filtering was a bad idea. That’s a view broadly supported by the population at large.

Everyone thinks they can avoid it

43% of respondents said they already knew ways of bypassing the filter, and almost as many were confident they’d be able to learn how to do so.

On the whole, broadband is pretty good . . .

We might be eagerly awaiting the NBN, but two-thirds of customers said they were “very happy” with the reliability of their current connection, and 81% would recommend their provider to a friend.

. . . but we’d like to pay less

A significant minority (40%) think that their current service is too expensive.

Fast could be faster

Amongst ADSL2+ customers, more than half are getting speeds of 10Mbit/s or less. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it shows how theoretical maximum speeds (24Mbit/s in the case of ADSL2+) don’t mean much in practice.

Wireless for the home is some way off

While three-quarters of respondents used a notebook at least part of the time, that didn’t mean that 3G broadband was seen as a viable alternative to ADSL or cable. 63% said they didn’t see it as a viable alternative for home access.

Channel BT is big

53% of respondents used their broadband connection to watch downloaded TV shows. No wonder we’ve stopped watching regular TV.

Ethernet still has a place

There’s nothing like Wi-Fi for convenience, but there’s nothing like Ethernet for speed (and a more fundamental sense of security). Reflecting that, 74.3% had both wired and wireless networks in their home. Only 2.6% of respondents had no home network at all.

Letting Telstra control everything causes problems

While problems with broadband installation weren’t common, the two most frequent reasons cited were failure to activate a phone line or ‘ISP blamed Telstra for some reason’.

If you need support, you’ll be waiting

When calling customer support, 40.5% of respondents had to wait between one and four minutes, 25.2% between five and nine minutes, and 21.2% for longer than that. While four minutes isn’t really that long, it can seem that way when your connection is dead or unresponsive.

Hit the link below for the full results (which include far more detail about individual ISPs) and share your thoughts and interpretations in the comments.

Whirlpool Australian Broadband Survey 2009


  • I laugh at this article it says letting telstra control everything would cause problems, yet isps like internode are getting credit for realiblity , when its the wholesale network like telstra, are the one what giving realibility to the isps.
    The isps are quidk to blame thier wholesaler for problems and yet arent so quick like the internode customers to give cre3dit to the isps wholesale for realiblity

    • For ADSL2+ services, the majority of the time, Telstra only own the copper between your house and the exchange. The other networks like Optus etc run pretty much everything else including the DSLAM in the exchange. All they do is lease some floor space from Telstra.

  • OK, to get on my soapbox yet again, I’m in a house that can’t get broadband without going satelite or wireless. The NBN wont every get to my house, because my town is too small. CAN ANYONE SPELL THE WORD DECENTRALISATION? The NBN should do what it said it would do, work from small towns in, not dienfrancishe them even furthur by not providing them with broadband. Way to go government, in all it’s levels, for not fighting for rural Australia.

    • I’m afraid it is simply totally unrealistic to supply fast internet to everyone with current and near future technologies.

      If it is expected for any commercial solution to cover really small populations that are far away from existing infrastructure like a decent fibre link, then the cost is massive.

      The cost of the NBN is already astronomical. Its an important price to pay but its not in the national interests to pay triple the amount already due to be spent for the rest of the minimal populations who aren’t already covered.

      You may lose out on the net, but not having to deal with horrid city living has got to be a plus.

    • To build on Jarrad’s point, look at Optus increasing their coverage from 92-96% of the population. They had to roll out literally hundreds of base stations to increase their coverage by only a few percent.

  • I have had Cable with optus ADSL2+ with internode and ADSL2+ with TPG Internode were by far the most expensive and the most reliable.
    However i don’t think internode has set themselve up to record usage statistics correctly because i turned on AnnexM and for some reason they insisted i did 20gb in a 6 hour period which was not physically possible. TPG are OK but i’ve had problems with them and MyNetFone on my Billion 7404. Optus wanted a $60 callout fee to tell me that their cable modem needed replacing when clearly i could see that it was on fire and could smell the burning plastic yet thwey wouldn’t beleive me

  • First, it should read “Everyone thinks mandatory Internet filtering is stupid” and not “thanks” 🙂

    I must admit I am amazed at how well this survey has captured the general feeling I get from friends and family and especially my observations.

    Now, let’s hope someone actualy considers these results and acts upon them.


  • Am I the only one that is confused at how a list of “ten of the most notable findings” can have a result that is “not surprising”?

    It seems to me that finding out that what everyone knows is true is hardly notable.

  • I’m not sure you can presume that downloaded TV shows are being downloaded via bittorrent. I’m sure plenty are, but when I answered that question I did so on the basis of regularly watching TV shows on iview.

  • Perhaps the survey could have looked into 3G wireless as an addition to home internet, not a replacement for it.

    The main drawcard for 3G internet is mobility. Access to broadband speeds on the go in many places in this country. I use mine solely for when I am NOT at home.

  • “.. Wireless for the home is some way off ..”
    I, like 1000’s of other Australians have only EVER been able to access “broadband” at HOME by WIRELESS. This is despite being in range of a good connection from the local Telstra Exchange. It’s the way Telstra rolled out their copper that causes the problem.

  • Channel BT is big

    Watching and/or downloading TV shows doesn’t automatically equate to using BitTorrent. There are plenty of legal ways to watch TV shows online.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!