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Australian internet speeds are so slow now that you’re better off visiting our sites in NZ

Oh, dear.

A report from TrueNet is more bad news for everyone concerned with Australia’s internet speeds. That should be everyone.

A while back we lamented the fact that the Kiwis are kicking our butts in rugby and the internet. And the TrueNet report appears to be reopening that wound.

The report detailed the gap that’s opening up between NZ ISPs and an Australian provider, TPG, as a sample.

To understand the data, we need to first get our heads around “ping time”.

Simply put, ping time is the time it takes to get a response between point A and point B. Ping is measured in milliseconds and a fast ping means a more responsive connection.

Now typically trans-Tasman ping times are around 23 milliseconds (ms). That’s how long it takes data to travel from the two biggest cities, Sydney and Auckland.

Now consider this snippet from the report, which you can read in full here:

“TPG is a lot worse than all NZ ISPs for downloading New Zealand websites. We may expect that due to downloading across the Tasman, But TPG is worse at downloading Australian and USA websites than any NZ ISPs we measure.”

So despite Australia’s 23ms headstart, the Kiwis can download our pages faster than us.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. The report also notes that average Kiwi download speeds are approaching or exceeding the Australian target speed of 25Mb/s.

OK, so it’s time to ask that question again: How’s the NBN rollout working out?

There’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that the rollout of the NBN in WA is set to create 500 new jobs in the next two to three years.

This is great considering that WA is facing its worst job crisis in 25 years thanks to falling commodity prices.According to the NAB, the mining industry in WA is in the process of shedding 50,000 jobs. So while 500 NBN jobs won’t solve that problem, it’s gonna help.

The bad news is those jobs also come with a price tag – the NBN has just borrowed $19.5 billion dollars from the Turnbull government to fund the rest of the rollout.

Always the optimists, Finance minister Mathias Cormann and Mitch Fifield released a joint statement claiming that “the NBN is on schedule, ahead of its revenue forecasts and has met or exceeded its key rollout targets across two financial years.”

That may be true, but it has the ring of doublespeak to suggest that the financials are in order when you have just borrowed close to 20 billion dollars.

In the meantime, the British government has just announced a push to bring a full fibre network to the UK, giving homes superfast internet capable of 1GB per second.

As you will recall, the NBN has long been in a messy political debate over the choice of technology used in the rollout.

Perhaps the UK’s plan will put some pressure on the NBN, but if you want fast internet, I guess, you can consider moving to Auckland.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based writer who has returned to Australia after living in Taiwan for 14 years. In his spare time he plays nerdy board games, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin.

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