Retail service providers (RSP) delivered the highest recorded average maximum National Broadband Network (NBN) plan speeds during October at over 94 per cent, according to Australia's consumer watchdog.
For the month ending 31 October, RSPs reached between 84.8 per cent and 98.5 per cent of maximum plan speed across all plans during the NBN's busy hours of 7pm to 11pm.
This is according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) 11th Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) report, which averaged the maximum busy period speed for all plans at 94.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, for all hours, the average was up slightly higher, at 95.7 per cent, and more than half of monitored services on the NBN, at 53.9 per cent, exceeded their maximum speed.
“Speeds in the October test period were the highest we have seen for all monitored RSPs since the start of the MBA program,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
By comparison, RSP performance back in February ranged from averages of 81.7 per cent to 90.8 per cent during all hours, and from 80.0 per cent to 89.9 per cent during busy hours.
Supporting the overall increase in speeds, according to the watchdog, came down to NBN Co’s extra capacity offer, which lasted from March to November and the network builder increasing how it over-provisions the downloads in most speed tiers by about 10 to 15 per cent.
“We had been concerned that consumers haven’t experienced full use of their plan speed even outside busy hours for some time now, so it is good to see the MBA’s transparency measures showcasing the faster broadband speeds available to consumers during these difficult times,” Sims said.
Breaking down the speeds by connection however shows that not everything is equal, with fibre to the node (FTTN) connections reaching a maximum average speed of 89.6 per cent during busy hours and 90.2 per cent during all hours in October.
Meanwhile, fibre to the premises' (FTTP) average max speeds for busy and all hour periods during the month were at 100.4 per cent and 101.3 per cent, respectively. Additionally, hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) connections clocked in at 99.4 per cent and 100.4 per cent and fibre to the curb connections recorded 97.8 per cent and 98.4 per cent.
“Although most consumers have already benefited from increased download speeds, those on FTTN connections are continuing to experience lower than expected speeds. We encourage NBN Co and RSPs to work to resolve this, especially given the additional investment in FTTN services announced by NBN Co in September,” Sims said.
“Good progress has already been made on addressing this issue with the proportion of underperforming services in our sample falling from 13.9 per cent in May 2018 to 8.1 per cent in October 2020," he added.
Additionally, the ACCC highlighted Telstra as showing the greatest improvement in its busy evening speeds with an improvement of 11 per cent, while Superloop made its first appearance in an MBA with a “comparable” result — an average of 93 per cent of maximum plan speed in busy hours.