Netflix Says Australian Internet Providers Are All Too Slow

Netflix Says Australian Internet Providers Are All Too Slow

Netflix has been very popular amongst Australians since its launch in March — so much so that Netflix itself says the speeds we have on offer from Internet service providers aren’t fast enough.

Each month, Netflix measures the average speeds for viewing its services from major ISPs, and Australia (and New Zealand) are now included in those rankings. Here’s what Netflix itself had to say about that first set of results (emphasis mine):

This month, Australia and New Zealand joined the speed index, ranking 18 and 14, respectively on the list of 29 countries we rank. Performance for Australian ISPs was impacted by consumer demand exceeding the forecasts Netflix provided. We are working closely with these ISPs and expect performance to improve in the coming months.

Here’s how Netflix’s own analysis ranked the speeds available from our major ISPs:

Rank Provider Average speed (Mbps) Services offered
1 TPG 3.36 ADSL, NBN
2 Optus 3.27 ADSL, NBN, Cable
3 iiNet 3.24 ADSL, NBN, Cable
4 Primus 3.03 ADSL, NBN
5 Exetel 2.56 ADSL, NBN
6 Dodo 2.29 ADSL, NBN
7 Telstra 2.23 ADSL, NBN, Cable

Both Optus and iiNet offer unmetered access to Netflix, but despite that partnership, TPG has outranked them. There isn’t a massive difference between the top figure (3.36Mbps for TPG) and the bottom figure (2.23 for Telstra), but given that Telstra is Australia’s biggest ISP, that means a lot of people are having a less-than-optimal viewing experience.

It’s good to hear Netflix saying it will work more closely with ISPs to fix this. Perhaps that need might cause it to regret saying last month that it didn’t want to pursue any more unmetered deals in Australia.



  • Really? Took them event his long?

    I have 4mbps, and to be honest, was not aware I was actually considered above average.

    I cancelled my subscription to netflix within 10days, because I couldn’t get it to let me have High Def streaming without constant modem reboots to hopefully get a little more synch speed.

  • Rank 1 = 3.36 Mbps = 0.42 MBps

    Hopefully there will come a day where the internet is soo fast that my hard drive is the bottleneck.

    • You might want to move to chine or something if your chasing that kind of internet speed haha , Australia would be the last to get it because we don’t need fast internet apparently

  • Good luck to them I say, the Australian Public has been trying to improve our internet for years now and to no avail.

  • I did have a small giggle at this article – as @devolve mentioned – really… did it take them this long to find out we had slow net? – its a bit how this article reads.

    Anyhow – I’m with TPG myself and have found it all works great you are just relying on your household not to also be downloading/playing online games etc at the same time to reduce impact – which for the amount of money Australian consumers pay its a pretty underwhelming experience.

    No way most country residences will have decent enough bandwidth as it stands – our government needs to rectify this as we already know…

    Just my 2c

    • Oh god, people hogging internet by streaming videos are the ones complaining? Playing online games uses like 5% of the bandwidth than downloading or streaming videos… If you are experiencing slow downs, you are the one causing it…

  • I get about 10mbps on iiNet ADSL2+, and my connection has been amazingly stable and reliable for over 6 years. Until Netflix dropped, and since then I get regular latency/lag issues most nights at about 7:30pm. Right about peak period for Netflix. Not really iiNet’s or Netflix’s fault exclusively I guess, but sincerely wish iiNet hadn’t offered quota free Netflix. My once pretty stable connection is just garbage almost every night now thanks to Netflix chewing all the bandwidth.

  • Arguably, the speeds are similar to what they have in US and Canada. The only places that seem to be getting over 4Mbps are in Europe. So to headline with “the speeds are not fast enough” also applies to about half the other countries in the Netflix speed index, including their own back yard.

    • But the index is only an average over the course of a month. And this dose not factor in network congestion and other faults with the providers. All it is measuring is what the average speeds were during prime time in a one month period, which was April. Next month the numbers might be different. You also have to factor in how big the US and Canada is. The fact that their speed index is close to us is worrying know the amount who live in both countries and the distances their data has to go is a true testament to their internet infrastructure. Then take us. We are small in comparison and are average speed matches them. Something is not right.

      • “Something is not right”
        I wouldn’t say that, I’d just say that the figures are just a little … misrepresented.

        Average HD stream is 3.2Mbps.
        So TPG have mostly HD subscribers and some of them run more than one stream during peak time. Meanwhile Telstra has more SD subscribers.

        Actual premises connection speed is not necessarily a factor in obtaining these figures.

    • Don’t believe everything you read – these figures paint a very distorted picture.

      Telstra’s apparent “average” is pulled down by the fact that it has a much larger presence in regional Australia than other ISPs (3-4 times larger than next best).

      If you were to compare like-for-like in major metro areas, Telstra would be on top.

      There are lies, damned lies, and then statistics like these.

  • I assume that this result bundles all of a carrier’s different services into a single result as there’s probably no way for Netflix to differentiate between say Telstra ADSL and NBN etc?

    I have to say that my Exetel NBN does not struggle in the least with Netflix – even while I have other bandwidth-intensive stuff going on…

    I would be interested to see a distribution graph of an ISP’s performance. As an example, because of Telstra’s size and coverage they provide both extremely high end services and extremely limited services (to remote areas and such) and if there are a decent number of Netflix subscribers on Telstra’s slow ADSL 1 services then that will skew the results somewhat…

    (PS: Not a Telstra fan – just using them as an example. This would be true for any ISP that offers ADSL or Satellite or such.)

  • I find it funny that the company primarily responsible for the nation’s Internet backend has ranked dead fucking last…. Well done Telstra, well done.

  • “There isn’t a massive difference between the top figure (3.36Mbps for TPG) and the bottom figure (2.23 for Telstra)”
    As a megabit value sure, since the speeds are so low to begin with, but as a percentage, TPG are averaging 50% faster than Telstra.
    Not that it means much when all the ADSL infrastructure is Telstra’s anyway, and there’s insufficient backhaul out of each exchange to even cope with the dataflow.

  • I get 18mbps on Telstra ADSL, when I was with Tpg I was getting 8mbps, same address. I am able to stream 4k Netflix, this is a bit inaccurate because the slower connections that Telstra can provide access to TPG and the others cannot.

    • Can’t forget that. My in-laws have horrible internet, but it’s satellite and Telstra were the only people who would give them anything. They would be dragging down the average, along with all of their neighbors.

  • These numbers are horribly misleading.
    What does a good connection look like? Or a bad one?
    What number represents a flawless experience over a rock-solid connection?

    (The answer is ‘it depends’. Unless you take into account what it depends on, then the numbers mean nothing)

  • I’m with telstra and wouldn’t say it’s a bad experience. So far all of my netflix viewing has been running fine at 720P, with some show stretching to 1080.. And until we have unlimited data I wouldn’t want 1080P all the time. I haven’t seen anything less than 720P.

  • This is going to be a self-selecting survey, because the people for which speeds are too slow are simply going to stop after their free trial, leaving only those with sufficient speeds…

  • This is why piracy abounds:
    I have a beautiful Tv, with a wonderful sound system.
    I have also a choice, to watch a pirated version of a Tv program, or a paid for guilt free option.
    The pirated version looks great, especially on my big screen in a resolution of greater than 720p.
    The legal version is patchy, low res, a throwback to the Tv I was accustomed to receiving in the 80s on a CRT Tv.
    It is embarrassing to watch this stuff, especially greatly detailed shows like GoT where money is poured into making the visual experience as good as possible.
    So unless Netflix or other can give me time-shifted viewing, caching the video locally so that I can watch HD video, it is always going to be an inferior product.
    I spent too much money on my set up to want to waste it looking at blocky 8bit looking Tv characters.

    • Not a problem with Netflix, problem with your Internet connection (my Netflix always streamed at 1080p/5.1ch, but sometimes starts at 480p, before it came to Aus).

  • What speed does netflix need? Do they do no caching?

    1080p video conferencing (yes, I know it has less motion than a film, but still) can be done with 1MBit/s. It only needs 2MBit/s for high-motion 1080p.

    Sure, it’d be nice to get 10M down on average but Netflix is often viewed at peak times, and most of Australia is on ADSL. What, do they really expect they can just rip a blu-ray into an 8GB DivX and stream it to the average Australian?

    If 3 – 4Mbit/s is not enough for Netflix, what is?

  • Akamai’s State Of The Internet report for Q4 2014 measured Australia’s average connection speed as 7.2 Mbps. Why is there such a difference between that and the figures above?

  • You know, when I keep reading comments about people saying their own experience with their home internet is different from the results from Netflix, I have to ask one simple question?

    Do people know what the meaning to the word, average?

  • After enjoying average of 12mbps with Optus for years, these last two years I have been stumped with the abysmal 0.89 mbps I get at peak times and 2.30mbps on average good days. Now Optus has that Netflix and unlimited internet deal for the same price I am paying for my current plan, I was going to give them a ring. However, I am wondering what they will say when I tell them that my speed is not up to it and I have been contacting them for 2 damn years to fix the exchange.
    Will they finally get off their butts? I doubt it.

  • So tired of the backwater treatment by Aus internet servers. Also tired of paying internet connection fees for arse end of the world services. The Australian public paid dearly through generations when the government had control of communications in this country. Then they went private. Yeah, competition……….WTSnarf, who is going to bother competing with the people who own the network. Crock of poop.

  • I just signed up to iinet cable and get 100mbps at wired locations and about 50mbs at wireless points so im happy and only paying a little more than i was previously so im thrilled.

  • Netflix, Stan, Presto, Youtube?, just a dream for some of us.

    I pay 70 bucks a month for 900kbps, glorified dial up!!

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