Australia’s Internet Speeds Are A Global Embarrassment [Updated]

Australia’s Internet Speeds Are A Global Embarrassment [Updated]

Australia continues to fall behind most of the developed world when it comes to home broadband internet speeds. According to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report, our internet connection speeds are now slower than 50 other nations, including the likes of Thailand, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kenya. Here’s the full list of countries with better internet than Australia. (It makes for painful reading.)

The Akamai State of the Internet Report is a quarterly analysis of internet connection speeds, network availability and IPv6 adoption progress around the world. At the end of 2015, Australia was ranked 48th in the world. In Q3 2016, we were down to 50th. Now, despite our average speeds increasing from 9.6Mbps to 10.1Mbps, we have dropped out of the Top 50 entirely. Tch.

Here are the 50 countries and territories that currently have faster average internet speeds than Australia, ranked from fastest to slowest:

  1. South Korea: 26.1Mbps
  2. Norway: 23.6Mbps
  3. Sweden: 22.817.3Mbps
  4. Hong Kong: 21.9Mbps
  5. Switzerland: 21.23Mbps
  6. Denmark: 20.7Mbps
  7. Finland 20.6Mbps
  8. Singapore: 20.2Mbps
  9. Japan: 19.6Mbps
  10. Netherlands: 17.6Mbps
  11. Iceland: 17.4Mbps
  12. Jersey: 17.4Mbps
  13. Czech Republic: 17.3Mbps
  14. Latvia: 17.2Mbps
  15. United States: 17.2Mbps
  16. United Kingdom: 16.3Mbps
  17. Romania: 16.1Mbps
  18. Belgium: 15.9Mbps
  19. Taiwan: 15.6Mbps
  20. Bulgaria: 15.6Mbps
  21. Spain: 15.4Mbps
  22. Ireland: 15.3Mbps
  23. Kenya: 15.0Mbps
  24. Canada: 14.9Mbps
  25. Lithuanian: 14.6Mbps
  26. Germany: 14.6Mbps
  27. Israel: 14.4Mbps
  28. Hungary: 14.3Mbps
  29. Slovenia: 14.0Mbps
  30. Austria: 13.9Mbps
  31. Thailand: 13.3Mbps
  32. Slovakia: 13.0Mbps
  33. Malta: 12.9Mbps
  34. New Zealand: 12.9Mbps
  35. Andorra: 12.8Mbps
  36. Macao: 12.8Mbps
  37. Portugal: 12.6Mbps
  38. Ukraine: 12.4Mbps
  39. Poland: 12.4Mbps
  40. Guernsey: 12.1Mbps
  41. Qatar: 11.9Mbps
  42. Russia: 11.6Mbps
  43. Estonia 11.4Mbps
  44. Moldova: 11.1Mbps
  45. Luxembourg: 11.1Mbps
  46. Isle Of Man: 11.0Mbps
  47. Puerto Rico: 10.8Mbps
  48. United Arab Emirates: 10.7Mbps
  49. Serbia: 10.5Mbps
  50. Reunion: 10.2Mbps

On the plus side, Australia is leading the Asia-Pacific region in terms of mobile connectivity – our average mobile connection speed is 13.8Mbps, which is ahead of the Americas’ region leader Canada (10.3Mbps). We are also well above the global average broadband speed of 7Mbps. This is despite having a far larger territory to cover and a lower population density than many countries on the list.

Nevertheless, our overall ranking compared to the rest of the world can only be described as a disappointment. In its original guise, the National Broadband Network promised to make us world leaders when it came to broadband technology. Instead, we’re being bested by most developed Asia-Pacific nations including South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand. Our 4Mbps+ broadband adoption rates were also the lowest in the region with a decline in adoption of 1.9 per cent.

With that said, Australia is still in the process of building the NBN. As Akamai notes: “Providing fast, reliable internet to a vast rural population of this scale is a challenge that no other country has to deal with. It’s hard to compare Australia’s speeds to a small and densely populated country like Singapore for example, where a single switch provides hundreds of thousands of people with Internet.”

We have seen drastic improvements compared to a few years ago. Back in 2013, the average speed delivered in Australia was 4.7 megabits per second. It’s also worth noting that ADSL services still make up the bulk of the approximate 10 million internet services in Australia.

If the completed NBN rollout gets us anywhere near the region of 25 megabits per second, our rankings will improve accordingly. But for now, 51st place is a pretty poor showing.

Australia's Broadband Speeds Still Lagging Behind But At Least We Have Fast Mobile Connections

Australia's average broadband speed ranking is down but the country is leading the Asia-Pacific region in terms of mobile connectivity, according to Akamai's State of The Internet report for the last quarter of 2016.

Read more

[Via Akamai]


  • whoa whoa.. wait a second! We Australians DON’T WANT faster speeds… 25mbps will suffice thank you very much!

  • OK… they always go on about the population density thing, so I thought I’d actually put together a ranking weighted against population density. Results here:

    Turns out Canada is first, followed by Australia according to my quick and dirty analysis (basically dividing the speed by the population density). I’m not a statistician so my methodology might be wrong, so I welcome any feedback.

  • To nitpick – a number of those aren’t countries (I counted 8). They are territories or admin zones.

  • These Akmai lists are patent rubbish – if you believe this you don’t travel much. Singapore is so-so. Spain is awful. Kenya? Internet? That is an oxymoron. South Africa is light years ahead of Kenya, and it is not on your list. Maybe both sites in Kenya that have Akmai equipment are good, but the rest of the nation is lucky to even have a phone signal. New Zealand is definitely worse than us, and USA is not much cop either. Also please fix the spelling: its “Isle” and “Puerto”.

    • Akamai’s metrics are pretty well respected – these are measures of connection speed, not coverage/availability.

    • New Zealand is miles ahead of Australia in terms of internet speed for residential areas. I lived there back in 2011-12 and coming back to Melbourne in 2012 I was severely disappointed in the speeds (until I moved to an area with NBN). It is literally the only thing I enjoyed about NZ.

      What’s your reasoning for thinking it’s worse?

    • I am Kenyan and I can tell you for sure that internet has gotten so much better in the last decade.

      Prices have reduced tremendously, we have over 5 major ISPs with adequate resources competing for market share, 4G mobile network and I recently saw an ISP offering a 250Mbs.

      It is such an amazing time for internet in Kenya. The competition makes it so much better.

      The 15mbps might be slightly higher but not by much.

    • You’re flipping high if you think NZ is even close to Au net. Does Australia even offer 200 Mbps? No. NZ has Gb internet genius.

  • Population density is only so useful for adjustment purposes. As is regional geography. GDP or per capita income would be worth including too since broadband infrastructure isn’t cheap regardless.

    In terms of real-world experience, download speeds (which presumably is what these are) isn’t the whole story. Having fast downstream is pointless if latency and upstream are crap.

  • My ADSL 2 Broadband gives me all day 20 Mbps download which drops to 15.2 Mbps in the evening, remains at 0.92 Mbps upload which is a better on average than some of those on the list. An NBN connection is due in mid-May this year in my area, then I will check with Ookla, but with copper wire TTP I am not ecstatic.

  • Why is it an embarassment that internet speed are slower than Thailand, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kenya? Australia likes to see itself ‘above’ other places but in reality it is really just an out of the way backwater. The countries listed are just as capable as Australia, if not more so. The minute the Government of the day in Australia chose to implement FTTN for their National Network was the minute that Aussies were destined for slow and unreliable internet. FTTN works OK when you have nodes every few hundred metres and an unforgiving climate, but in a place where things are spread out and there is extremely hot weather, FTTN is just plain fooking stupid. Once you get more than a few 100 metres from the node your speeds will decline (and in AU nodes can be > 1km away) and after a few weeks of hot weather, those metal boxes in the heat of the day containing critical networking components can and will fry. Dumb, dumb, dumb. FTTH can handle the heat and would provide a much more scalable solution into the future, just a pity NBNCo and all the hangeroners charge too much to make it viable. Sad really. Maybe I should move to Latvia. I’m sure everything is cheaper there as well…….

  • Having just returned from the UK where high speed internet is even available to guests in pubs I can only say that Australia is really lagging behind in the digital age. Even Google won’t have a premises here because of our internet speeds. As always the focus is on download speeds but for many upload speeds are just as important. I have ADSL1 on the copper cable and it takes 11 hours to upload a 10 minute video to a social media site. That’s appalling.
    As for the NBN the current Liberal government ruined that as all homes were to have a optical fibre connection as originally envisaged by the Labor government. Not now. The optical fibre goes to a “node” and it’s copper from there to your home. That’s akin to getting three quarters of the way to your destination by car and then finishing your journey by using a child’s peddle car.

    • I know what you mean, we had really fast internet, unlimited download and it cost around Au$9 per month. Not enough competition here and the politicians are the same as in every other country – only looking out for themselves and their kind. We are not laid back in Australia, we are just happy to accept crap levels of everything and we think it makes us look relaxed.

  • That isn’t very accurate i live in Sydney and i get 63mbps for download and 2mbps for upload. I am with Telstra (no nbn because it is very bad).

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!