Good question? Yes! Some might say it’s because we are geographically further away from the rest of the Western World…in truth it’s more a case that our infrastructure is outdated. The majority of homes Broadband comes through old-fashioned copper wire telephone lines, in some cases, which could be more than 100 years old.
The key to improving the speed, comes through installing fibre-optic cables (FTTP) directly to homes and businesses. Or as we know it...NBN. The NBN rollout is expected to be completed by 2020 and will be a compulsory change for every home and business.
As long as the Government can rollout NBN as promised (There have already been many hiccups along the way so far), then each and every Australian will have access to superfast internet akin to that of most of the rest of the developed world.
So, how does Australia compare with the rest of the world?
As it stands, through a survey collated by M-Lab (a partnership between Google, Princeton University and the Open Technology Institute in Washington), Australia ranked 55 from 189 surveyed countries with an average download speed of 7.7Mbps. Additionally, a price comparison was conducted, and Australia ranked 74 from 196 surveyed countries with an average cost of $60.37 per month.
As far as global ranking goes for each category it doesn’t look too bad however, we have gone a step further and narrowed down the data to just the 45 Developed countries in the world which were included in the surveys. This would give us a more accurate reading on countries with similar economies, infrastructure etc.
...and how does Australia compare to other Developed nations?
Not too well it seems!
For download speeds, Australia ranked 40 from 45 countries and is ranked the 12th most expensive country. So, doesn’t really marry up. Even our neighbours across the Tasman have faster speeds, albeit at a slightly higher price. $80.75 compared to $77.31 average monthly cost but, download speeds of 16.6Mbps compared to 7.7Mbps.
No doubt Singapore is the envy of the world with the fastest download speeds at 55.13Mbps and yet modestly priced at $49.38 average monthly price. (Ranked 57/196 cheapest globally and 27/45 from Developed Nations*).
Australia has a lot of catching up to do in both terms speed and reasonable costs compared to the rest of the world and in particular the developed countries.
NBN “should” solve this particular problem, fingers crossed that the project turns out to be a success.
*Developed countries as determined by GDP by a combination of the OECD and NATO classification and is subject to clarification.