Australia’s Internet Satisfaction Has Hit Rock Bottom

Australia’s Internet Satisfaction Has Hit Rock Bottom
Image: Ipsos

Australians have one of the lowest broadband satisfaction ratings in the world, with a new Ipsos poll ranking us 23rd out of 26 countries. South Korea, with its average peak connection speed of 95.3Mbps, topped the list. (Well, duh.) The NBN clearly isn’t doing its job.

A new broadband satisfaction report from research firm Ipsos has shown Aussies still aren’t happy with their internet speed or reliability. In a ranking of 26 countries based on respondents’ level of satisfaction with high-speed broadband, Australia came in at a lowly 23. (Brazil, Peru and Italy were the only nations with fewer satisfied users.)

Just 38 per cent of Australians surveyed described broadband as “very or fairly good”. By comparison, South Korea and the US had a “very or fairly good” broadband rating of 70 per cent and 68 per cent, respectively. Australia was also well below the global average of 54 per cent.

Here’s the full table:

So does this mean Australia’s internet is among the worst in the world? Not quite. While we’ll never defend the politicised mess that is our national broadband network, much of our dissatisfaction arguably stems from “what could have been”, rather than genuine connectivity problems.

In short, our expectations are probably higher than many other countries on this list — precisely because of what we were falsely promised. If nbn wants to complain about unrealistic customer demands, they only have themselves to blame.

[Via SMH]


  • The most telling to me is that USA is at number 2, they have many reasons, most of them comcast, to hate their internet and its only getting worse with, again comcast, ramming in data caps.

    But the stories from the places where fibre is being offered, usually beginning with google kickstarting the market, are so good in general i’d wager its going a long way to prop up the love there

  • My issue with the internet here is not the speed of general browsing or accessing local content . However the minute you want to access anything outside of the country or heaven forbid try some online gaming or international video calls, you are instantly the laggy poor child of the world. Skype the UK? I hope you like standard definition and drop outs!

    I haven’t bothered online gaming since my first few frustrating months after moving here. I don’t necessarily blame any one entity for that. It’s just frustrating.

  • Thankfully I just bought my first home in a new estate. So I’m actually getting what the NBN promised (Fibre to the Premise) it’s rock solid and fast!

    But all my previous addresses were haunted by water filled pits or RIM’s/long distances to the exchange.

    They say we don’t have the worst internet connections in the world, and that’s true.
    But it is one of the worst when measuring against other developed countries like us.

    • Except for those areas which got FTTP before we reverted to the bronze age, Australia has truly pathetic internet (not even good enough to be considered broadband) when compared against some of the supposedly third world countries out there.
      Canberra is an excellent example. House prices in Gungahlin (with FTTP) have skyrocketed compared to similar dwellings in other locations, many of which are stuck on RIMs and ADSL1 at best. (My next door neighbours can only get dialup.)

      • Sometimes where I live (Near Penrith In Western Sydney) Dial up internet would kick the ass of our current “ADSL2+” we sometimes drop to speeds of as little as 10 kbps and anything internet related would become a matter of patience beyond what any sane human would be willing to wait or just impossible

  • All this shows is what a bunch of entitled a-holes we’ve become. Seriously, the internet here is fine. If it wasn’t, then we’d be seeing much higher take-up of high-speed NBN plans than we are seeing at present. It’s the same old story, Australians demand the best of everything, but believe someone else should pay for it. It’s embarrassing to be from here most of the time.

    • Oh yeah, perfectly fucking fine. I love having to wait an hour to download a critical update to a program because it was bigger than 100MB.

      I fucking *love* being literally unable to load vital websites like my bank’s because it started raining. I love having to eat into my limited 4G data whenever I need something done now instead of in a half-hour

      I’d happily fucking pay for HFC or Fibre. But guess what? I can’t. There’s no HFC in my area. There’s no fibre. There’s only telstra’s shitty fifty-year-old copper and an exchange that’s got about 8000 houses more than it can reasonably handle. What am I supposed to do? Pay thousands of dollars for hundreds of gigabytes of 4G? Or spend thousands more to literally run my own fibre infrastructure?

      • Or, you could just learn a little patience. Let’s be honest, though, a “critical” update is only critical to the vendor’s insurance coverage, not to we end-users. If it was working yesterday, it will work today until the update downloads. I couldn’t tell you the last time I physically waited for an update – they just happen in the background while I go about my day.

        All you are doing is proving my point. You sound like a child – you want hundreds of Gb of data and you just expect Telstra to provide it to you at the speed you deem appropriate. It would never occur to you to modify your expectations, would it? I get 50Gb of 4G a month for $60 and I rarely use much more than half of it, because I temper my expectations with the reality in which I live. As long as I can stream decent quality video without constant buffering, I’m happy as Larry. Why can’t you be?

        • Nice try troll. Not everyone is as entitled as you champ, with your wonderful coverage and very low needs/requirements. You should swap houses with one of the commenters complaining. If the NBN was more readily available, it would have a higher uptake. Strategic areas where people like you live get connected, people who don’t “use” the internet as much, so the signup numbers is “lower” and then the Government can say “Look! We connected this area and less than half the people living there signed up! Everyone in Australia is perfectly happy with their current connection. Telstra, here some extra money, thanks mate!”.

    • Wanting a modern day internet infrastructure makes us entitled? Are you senile you old fool? The internet here is not fine, People exist other that you. People have different needs to you. We pay our tax dollars so the government improves our infrastructure.

      Now go back to the retirement home where you belong nimrod.

      • My response to this nonsense went to the bottom of the discussion, see below.

    • Seriously? Australia’s internet, aside from NBN (and cable where you can get it), is awful. Forget the speeds altogether for a minute. The amount of congestion there is on the lines at peak times completely cripples ADSL. It’s unbearable and if you have more than one person in the house using it at once, good luck trying to do anything other than browse websites from the early 2000’s.

      I don’t necessarily need 100mbps NBN. I have 25mbps because that works fine. But the biggest benefit of FTTP NBN for me is the lack of that congestion. All 3 of us in the house can actually use the internet and use Skype/Netflix/play online games etc.

      People like you who think ‘it doesn’t bother me therefore it should bother nobody’ give me the shits. It’s the most ignorant stance anybody could ever take on a subject.

      • So if you ignore our new $40billion NBN, then our internet is crap. That’s like saying if you ignore the V8 powered models, Commodores aren’t that fast. We have the NBN, you can’t discount it. But, as I’ve said four times now, people aren’t signing up to high speed services, they are happy with slower ones.

        The only person I know with the NBN doesn’t think it’s worth a premium over his old ADSL service, with which he was perfectly happy. Elsewhere, I don’t know anyone who is unhappy with their internet service, so maybe those who are need to shop around for a better deal, rather than sit around and complain? e.g. I can stream high quality video via 4G, so if you can only browse ten year old websites, maybe you need to look at a 4G plan?

    • You’re kidding, right?

      I live in a city(& country!) where the world’s Liberals have achieved their goals – all internet supply is privately run.

      The entire city has masses of thick black cables strung from telegraph pole to telegraph pole(cable TV), I have TWO companies fibre cables running down my street(separately from the masses of thick black cable TV cable!) & I have a multitude of options for internet – wireless, HFC cable, copper & fibre.

      I get my internet via fibre at 200 Mbps down & 100 Mpbs up, with no data limit at a cost of roughly AUD$70 per month. It’s awesome. Except for the fact that EVERYTHING that is offered to my house & all of my neighbours, could be offered by ONE of the fibre optic cables. It would have cost less to install, would be easier to maintain & would have ensured that my street(& city & country) wasn’t dominated by thick, ugly black cables. But hey, it’s competitive!

      Having a single fibre optic setup may also have helped to ensure that the country(Brazil) was served entirely, & not just my city of Sao Paulo(with a population of 23 million).

      FTTP for Australia is a great way to ensure the country gets the best of all worlds!

      • Telstra and Optus were not stupid enough to duplicate effort, they planned their cable roll-outs to minimise duplication, so if you have both, you are a very rare case.

        Secondly, the telegraph poles were already there, so taking advantage of existing infrastructure was the right call. It’s easy in a place like India, where they dig up the footpath to lay fibre but never bother to cover the trenches or remove the piles of dirt they dig out of them, but you can’t do that here.

        Lastly, the cable was installed 20 years ago, so to suggest they should have laid fibre back then is just ridiculous, and shows how completely unrealistic your expectations are, thereby proving my point yet again.

    • Yeah it’s great having 2Mbs at random times, constant drop outs, and an hour and half phone waiting for the ISP to tell you – no there’s no issue in your area. Every couple of weeks.

    • “Seriously, the internet here is fine.”
      If that were TRULY the case, then why would we proceed with the NBN at all?
      Because, for many people, their copper connection is past its use-by date (even for phone calls). Because, for many people, ADSL1 is inadequate. Because, for many people, dial-up is TOTALLY inadequate! Your argument is like saying that, because dirt roads are sufficient for some country towns, then that is all we should have in cities. Different users have different needs. Just because one household only uses email and (maybe) Facebook occasionally, does NOT mean that everyone else should be happy with that low level of access. If you had been in charge of installing our electricity grid around 100 years ago, I suspect you would have said there is no need to give anyone access to more electricity than is needed to run two or three light globes! BTW, those who use more, PAY more. You are confusing infrastructure capacity with personal usage.

  • I just had my FTTN NBN connected and I am loving the download speeds (around 35Mbps/about 4 times faster than my ADSL2) but mostly the upload speeds (around 9.5Mbps/ about 10 times faster than my ADSL2).

    But it’s bittersweet; that’s the best I’m ever going to get. I shouldn’t complain as I’m lucky to have NBN where plenty of others don’t, but it could have been so much more.

    • “But it’s bittersweet; that’s the best I’m ever going to get.”
      Precisely. Whereas only a small extra spend would have allowed you to buy bandwidth up to 100Mbps or even 1Gbps. Many businesses, and larger households, need to be able to ramp up to this kind of bandwidth. For a single domestic user, 35 Mbps is not bad for now, but why have the infrastructure limited to that when – for not much more cost – your NBN connection could have been suitable for anybody and upgradeable to massive speeds at minimum cost in future. Many FTTN customers will be limited to far less bandwidth than you get, and will not be able to increase this until the network is eventually upgraded to fibre at massive expense.

    • Because the Indian population are happy with it. And I don’t know that it is shit. I have traveled quite a bit around India, for work, and we always had decent speeds.

      • Dayum son. Well I’ve always got atrocious speeds everywhere I’ve gone. Guess I didn’t fetch hard enough haha.

  • Dunedin, NZ – Gigabit Internet fibre, all you can eat for $80 a month. Yeah that’s right, I’m getting like 930Mb/s down, 437Mb/s up. Read it and weep 🙂

    • My sister in Rotorua has twice the bandwidth at half the price we pay.
      NZ is looking very attractive for many reasons, broadband internet doubly so!
      We visited Dunedin two years ago and loved it; we are now SERIOUSLY considering moving there.
      (For comparison, we get 2Mbps download, AT BEST, for $90 per month.)

  • Appreciating our connection speeds and download speeds as a PC gamer in Australia these days is difficult. Nothing is sold with the full game on disc anymore, instead you’re expected to download 35-50GB of extra game data day 1 before you can play the game you just spent $80-100 (Australia tax) on.

    I wanted to play BF1, it took me 40 hours to download the patch just to play it… without doing anything else on my connection.. and that’s the best I can get installed at my place apparently. I am less than 5 KM from the city centre. In the end I tethered my phone to download the last portion and got 10x the speed I get on my wired connection… says it all really.

    • What’s worse is after doing all the patches (friday night) to play on saturday night. Matchmaking is practically zero – so no-one else is playing this game around the word for me to play against? or is it my connection is so spotty that i just CAN’T connect.

      • I haven’t noticed any issues with matchmaking to be honest, only the initial ridiculous download size/speed problem. I’ve found full games pretty frequently… wonder why you’re having that issue, it should still identify full games? Have you tried using the server browser otherwise?

  • We have a very modern internet infrastructure that has cost us tens of billions of dollars. But the fact is that most people sign up to the slowest speeds, which suggests that if they want faster speeds, they are unwilling to pay for them.

    You have to remember that this survey didn’t take into account the actual service, just people’s satisfaction with it. Unless we also have the fourth worst internet in the world, which we clearly do not, then there is a bigger gap here between expectation and reality than elsewhere, which makes my original comment completely valid.

    • “We have a very modern internet infrastructure that has cost us tens of billions of dollars.”
      REALLY? Most of us have an adequate POTS infrastructure which was installed by the PMG.
      “But the fact is that most people sign up to the slowest speeds …”
      Yes, and *most* domestic users only need that for now; but you are condemning businesses and other high bandwidth users to to the *same* limits for the foreseeable future.
      Tough luck for anyone wanting to start an internet business, or expand online!

  • A modern internet infrastructure? Are you serious. 3Mbps downloads. Too low for watching HD content? That doesn’t sound very modern to me. Not everyone in Australia can access NBN, in fact it isn’t coming to my area until 2018 at the EARLIEST – and guess what? I live 8km from a major state capital CBD. By the time the NBN has rolled we won’t be far off needing an upgrade.

    UHD requires 25Mbps minimum. Add to that other users of internet in a property and we’ve saturated the link. Time for an upgrade. UHD is real. Now. On Netflix.

    Let’s not be unrealistic. Modern it is not. In some areas? Sure. In most, laughable.

  • 50gb/month?
    I’m not sure what you are using the internet for (or rather not using), but for a large proportion of active internet users out there, 50gb would be used up in days (if that). The issue is not a matter of patience as you say or even regarding “critical updates” that you can wait a day for. The issue is with the fact that we are all still paying $60+/month for internet that does not meet our requirements. In some areas, we can’t even pay more for a faster connection as the infrastructure is simply not there to connect to a fast service. Just because your requirements are easily met with current packages, does not mean that it meets the needs of others. Rather than criticize others for “sounding like a child”, you should look at yourself for expecting that everyone’s needs mirrors your own.

    Also the government is using tax-payers money currently to build inferior infrastructure (which will likely need to pay many millions/billions more in the future to maintain and update) so it’s not like we are demanding the services for free. If the politicians/private sector are happy to roll out the NBN on their own dime, then you wouldn’t hear half as many complaints.

    Finally, let’s face it, We are all living in a developed country (and we are lucky enough to be living here). Expectations of living in a developed country are certain to be higher than in a developing country. Why should we temper our expectations to that of developing countries when there is the potential for it to be met,? Particularly when what’s standing in the way are some arrogant and prehistoric politicians with nothing but the next election in mind?

    Just my two cents.

  • I have been in Italy and in Brazil, working with internet, I can confirm that in Italy the speeds are better, the data-plans for mobiles are better and cheaper, allowing VoIP and SIP and in Brazil it’s just not possible (SIP and VoIP are blocked under 3G) let alone that the government keeps blocking VoIP when they see fit. Italy may “think it’s worse” but in fact it is NOT. Internet in Brazil is very expensive, more than Italy or Portugal. The quality is bad and the technology years behind. Now even ADSL and Fiber are going to have data allowances. Unrealistically low. I’d move Brazil to practically the bottom of the list.

  • I’m a youtuber here in Australia. I missed out on Rudd’s FTTP by a week, trucks were out the front ready to go and then we had the election. 3 years later and we’re not even on the list anymore. We’re lucky to 13mbs down (which is considered excellent here in Aus) but upload is less than 1mbs so uploading videos takes days and I also cannot stream. I assume businesses also have issues competing worldwide when they can’t even Skype properly. The NBN has already cost 60bn and its not even completed, plus its now a mix or various tech and just plain bad. I looked into current NBN costs and to get the same advertised speed that I’m supposed to get now via ADSL 2+ 25mbs is twice the price via NBN. THis is why the take up is so low, that and the fact that there was no planning on working out what areas used the most data and hooking those locations up first

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