Why does Australia have Slow Internet?

Why does Australia have Slow Internet.

Why does Australia have Slow Internet.jpg

Australia has struggled with poor internet speeds for decades now. If you quickly go over the historic circumstances, you’ll find several reasons contributing to Australia’s bad internet system. Where a fast internet connection is an utmost requirement for current times, this country is lagging behind all other developed countries around the globe.

In 2019, Australia was ranked 68th in the Speedtest Global Index rankings out of 177 countries, earning itself the crown of 4th slowest and poorest internet broadband providing country as per the OECD report. So, one must wonder what’s the problem and why a country like Australia cannot meet the international broadband standards.

The issues leading to Australia's poor internet performance:

Earlier, we mentioned there are multiple reasons leading to Australia’s bad internet performance, which isn’t an exaggeration. Read below to get an idea briefly.

From many Aussies not using cable TV service, which was already a late adoption for Australia, to privatization and monopoly of Telstra, fraudulent activities of telecommunications like TPG, Telstra, Optus, political maneuverings and no solid policies wasting time and money of consumers with the mismanaged NBN facility, massive area, and less population, harsh weather conditions, super high costs, and use of an outdated system like copper cables and nodes to set up internet connection.

What has politics done till now?

In 2009, the Labour party came up with the policy of installing the FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) network, which is the latest and fastest model for providing internet service. However, the change in governments in the 2013 federal elections caused this policy to go back into the closet. The Liberal party developed their own plan to spread internet access naming it MTM (Multi-technological Mix).        

This idea included using existing copper cables with a mix of newly installed technologies like FTTN, FTTC, etc. Neither was this government able to fulfill its promise of providing high-quality internet at cheap rates nor was the project able to compete at the target expense of $29.5 billion, given how the amount kept growing, finally exceeding $70 billion after adding the upgrades to FTTP.

The idea of this outdated system of FTTN mixed with old and new infrastructure should have been abandoned right from the beginning. It has incurred much damage to Australia’s overall budget and time.

NBN program critic Mark Gregory (also RMIT telecommunications and network engineering expert) claimed in an interview that if the original plan (Labour party’s policy of implementing FTTP technology directly) were approved from the get-go, the project would have cost somewhat $50 billion till completion further adding, “This is Australia’s greatest infrastructure disaster.”

And many would agree, given how Australians are still struggling with slow internet speeds while some living in far regions have no access at all. Dr. Tama Leaver (associate professor of internet studies) at Curtin University stated,

“The NBN should have included fiber to every home to ensure the expectation of working remotely, connecting remotely, and participating fully in the digital economy was possible, instead the NBN is a Frankenstein’s monster of old and new parts, and the ultimate speeds rely on the oldest and weakest parts of the network.”

The geolocation and population:

Australia isn’t a country but a whole continent covering 2.9 million square miles with a population of 26,177,413, which proves the low density of people living in the country. So, when it comes to scaling the internet coverage nationwide, the costs of investing in broadband equipment can be overwhelming, to begin with, be it the cable net or wireless. However, it’s the government’s responsibility to find a solution that can overcome this issue.

Moreover, some areas in Australia can face harsh weather conditions. In those regions, the slow internet becomes almost non-existent, thanks to the poor quality and the weather affecting the signals.

The high costs:

Most consumers use the services of Telstra and Optus telecommunications companies in Australia. With Telstra monopolizing the market as it owns the majority of the internet infrastructure, they charge high costs for providing high-quality internet services.

One of the reasons why the government founded NBN Co. was because their negotiations with Telstra regarding collaboration fell through. Nevertheless, NBN with the FTTP wouldn’t be cheap, either. So, either you pay a high price to get fast speeds like 100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps, or you remain stuck with a poor quality internet connection at cheap rates.

Also, Telstra, TPG, and Optus pulled a shocking fraud in 2021, advertising high internet speeds which were unattainable under the NBN plans people had bought. Yet, they overcharged consumers and made them pay high costs for speeds these telcos knew they couldn’t provide.

Moreover, they didn’t inform consumers that they could move to a cheaper plan for the same speeds. The ACCC filed a lawsuit against all three big companies. However, all three made excuses about the complexity of processes and how the internet speeds couldn’t have been determined until NBN got connected.

Whether the Telcos made customers pay high prices unintentionally or purposefully, one is confirmed that with no good competition in the market, it is expected of such companies to get too comfortable without feeling the need to focus on customers’ needs.

Final Thoughts:

It might take the current decade to resolve the internet issues in Australia fully. The government would have to take significant steps to redeem the mismanagement regarding the NBN facility and fill the loopholes in the system to create a robust and affordable internet plan suitable for everyone. That’s the only way consumers can benefit from various online activities. If you want to repair your Computer in Perth Mastercomputer is one of the best Laptop and computer repairs in Perth Australia.