The Australian competition watchdog is considering an extension to its broadband speed monitoring program ahead of its expiry next year.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reviewing its Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) program, and with it considering whether to extend the program past its end date of June 2021.
As part of the review, the ACCC is seeking out views on the effectiveness of the program, as well as considering its future scope under the assumption of an extension to the program.
Potential new scope opportunities could include analysing broadband services for small and medium businesses (SMB) and non-NBN networks.
Other possible areas for consideration, as indicated by further survey questions, include collecting data on NBN fixed wireless services and 5G home broadband services, as the survey asks if these networks should be included in the MBA program.
The program, which was announced in April 2017, was set out to measure broadband speeds across 4,000 Australian homes and has released quarterly reports since March 2018.
These reports have flagged a number of issues in relation to Australia’s broadband network in the past, including the varying performance quality seen NBN services, noted in its reports for March 2018 and February 2019, as well as highlighting the top and trailing internet service providers for average speeds, as seen in its July 2018 and November 2019 reports, respectively, among others.
However, COVID-19 gave the program new relevance, with it releasing a monthly key indicators report, the first of which released in May 2020, as well as a critical services report focused on the COVID-19 environment.
The ACCC has also been transparent with this information, with it previously been made available on the ACCC’s website.
The Government awarded UK-based SamKnows, an internet performance management hardware vendor, a $6.5 million contract in relation to the program in 2017.
The MBA review survey is open until 5 November.