The rollout of the NBN has thus far failed to improve Australia's international ranking in terms of broadband connectivity and performance.

Australia is failing to keep up with other countries in the provision of broadband services despite the ongoing rollout of the long-touted NBN, falling three spots in the third quarter of last year to a dismal 44th position internationally in terms of average connection speeds.

Data from Akamai’s Q3 2014 State of the Internet Report indicates that during the third quarter of 2014 Australia posted average connection speeds of 6.9Mbps. This figure marked a 1.8 per cent decline quarter-on-quarter, albeit an increase of 25 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.

Australia ranked even worse in the category of broadband connectivity – which measures connections above 4Mbps, also falling three spots compared to the preceding quarter to 47th position.

The proportion of broadband connectivity above the 4 Mpbs threshold was 66 per cent, for a 0.6 per cent gain compared to the preceding quarter, and a 28 per cent increase compared to the same period in the preceding year.

The percentage of connectivity recorded above 10 Mbps in Australia declined 6.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 14 per cent, yet posted a 76 per cent increase compared to the same period the preceding year. The percentage of connectivity above 15 Mbps in Australia saw an even greater quarter-on-quarter decline of 13 per cent to 5.8 per cent, but a similar year-on-year increase of 85 per cent.

This comparatively poor level of connectivity places Australia at 36th position international in terms of 4K readiness (above 15Mbps), a drop of one spot compared to the preceding quarter, and boding poorly for the launch of Netflix in Australia in 2015.

Massachusett’s based cloud services provider Akamai amassed its data on international broadband connectivity via its Akamai Intelligent Platform, which consists of a distributed network of servers and intelligent software examining more than two trillion interactions per day. The platform enables Akamai to analyse the amount of web traffic delivered by the company to clients.

Australia urgently needs to improve its Internet performance, as report editor David Belson anticipates far greater demand for broadband services in future given the proliferation of smart devices amongst general consumers.

“One need only look at the sheer number of connected device- and smart home-related announcements that came out of the 2015 International CES to see that consumers are continuing to adopt and expect more from connected technology and services,” said Belson. “The strong year-over-year growth trends illustrated in this quarter’s report show that the Internet is evolving and expanding to meet the growing demands of our increasingly connected lifestyles.”


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