NBN Co Says Our Internet Isn’t Really Worse Than Kenya’s

The Akamai State of the Internet Report recently revealed that Kenya is getting 12.2Mbps as an average fixed-broadband internet speed.

Australia, on the other hand, is getting 11.1Mbps. But NBN Chief Network Engineering Officer Peter Ryan reckons there is an explaination for all of this.

Ryan posted a blog last night – here’s the basic rundown of what he’s saying.

Does Kenya – a country with a GDP per capita of US$1,455 per year – compared to Australia’s US$49,900 – really have faster broadband than Australia?

The answer, to put it bluntly, is no – unless you happen to live in one of the 180,000 lucky, perhaps wealthier residencies receiving Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) or Hybrid-Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) services. For the other near 9 million Kenyan homes there is no fixed-line broadband.

Kenya has a total fixed-broadband penetration rate of just 1.75 per cent – so, to be quite clear, that means 98 per cent of Kenya’s households – that’s around 8.8 million premises – don’t even have a fixed-broadband connection. Australia has a total fixed-broadband penetration rate of around 90 per cent.

However, the Akamai figures don’t reflect this. What they reflect is the tiny number of fixed-broadband circuits coming out of Kenya with average speeds of 12.2Mbps – and that’s the number that gets reported, the 98 per cent of premises that don’t have a fixed-broadband connection simply don’t count.

Ryan goes on to say the way Akamai collates the figures doesn’t tell the whole story – that Australia’s number are “still really being driven by those legacy ADSL services that remain in the marketplace – not by NBN services”.

“We want Australians to know that – despite the kind of misrepresentative, opportunistic reporting that goes on, by the time we complete the rollout in 2020 we will have a network to be proud of.”

You can read the whole blog here.

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